Pakistani spy held in 2006 being repatriated finally after pandemic delayed process by over year 


BHOPAL: A 57-year-old man from Madhya Pradesh, who went missing from his native place in Sagar district 23 years ago and was later jailed in Pakistan after inadvertently crossing into the neighbouring country, has returned to India, a police official said on Tuesday.

Prahlad Singh Rajput, a resident of Sagar’s Ghoshi Patti village, was handed over to the Border Security Force (BSF) by Pakistani authorities at the Wagah border in Punjab around 4 pm on Monday, Sagar Superintendent of Police Atul Singh told PTI.

“He was later handed over to a Sagar police team and his brother went there to bring him back.

Rajput and the police team are likely to return to Sagar by Tuesday evening,” the official said.

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According to Rajput’s family members and other residents of the village, located about 46 km from the district headquarters, he went missing in 1998, the official said, adding that how and when he crossed over to Pakistan could not be known.

Rajput was initially jailed in the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and then shifted to a jail in Rawalpindi, the SP said as per information available so far.

“The duration that he spent in Pakistani jails is not known,” he said.

The official said Pakistani authorities in 2015 informed the Indian government about 17 “mentally weak” people lodged in their jails, saying they were not able to inform about their residential addresses.

“Prahlad Singh’s name was also mentioned in this list, but his identity could not be ascertained at that time.

Last year, his brother gave an application at the Sagar SP’s office in this regard.

On the basis of the application, the facts were corroborated and his identity was ascertained,” the official said.

The information and documents were sent to the Foreign Ministry and his release could be subsequently ensured, he said.

Two constables from Gourjhamar police station in Sagar and Rajput’s brother Vir Singh, who went to the Wagah border to bring him back, were on their way to Sagar, police officials said.

Earlier, a 40-year-old mentally unstable man, who had inadvertently crossed into Pakistan in 2019, returned to his village in Madhya Pradesh’s Damoh district in June this year.