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Forgotten identity? Pakistan unable to release 17 'mentally unstable' Indian prisoners

Published Aug 27, 2015, 7:30 pm IST
Updated Mar 28, 2019, 1:25 am IST
'We are not even sure if their names are correct'
Representational image.
 Representational image.

New Delhi: Pakistan government has informed the Indian government about 17 Indians completing their jail terms, but they cannot be sent back to India because the prisoners are unable to recall where they hail from.

Pakistan government has also informed the Indian High Commission in Islamabad regarding the same matter hoping to make a breakthrough.  


Ministry of External Affairs after receiving the update on the matter, has also conveyed it to the Ministry of Home Affairs. Details of the prisoners are also conveyed in order to track their families back in India.

“We are not even sure if their names are correct,” said a home ministry official.

Many of them seem to be old in the pictures provided by Pakistan. 

“Other than the pictures and their names we have no other information. Identifying their families here is a tough task,” said a home ministry official. 

“These Indians have completed their sentences but due to non-confirmation of their nationality they could not be repatriated to India,” a home ministry note on these prisoners says. 

Ministry of Home Affairs is now planning to put their pictures on social media, inviting people to identify them. Even though using social media is an option, an official dealing with the matter said these are sketchy details. 

Among the 17, four are women who have been identified as Gullu Jan, Ajmeera, Naqaya and Hasina.  The others are Sonu Singh, Surinder Mahto, Prahalad Singh, Silrof Salim, Birju, Raju, Bipla, Rupi Pal, Panwasi Lal, Raju Mahouli, Shyam Sunder, Ramesh and Raju Rai. 

In a reply to a Right To Information application, last year the Indian government said that there are Indians in Pakistani jails who are mentally ill.

In all over 403 Indians, including nearly 350 fishermen as per the recent list provided by Pakistan, are languishing in Pakistani jails for various crimes.

India handed over a list of 278 Pakistani prisoners. These lists were exchanged on July 1, 2015. 

On August 2, Pakistan released 163 Indian fishermen held for violating its territorial waters as a goodwill gesture. On August 7, India repatriated sixteen Pakistani prisoners whose nationality has been confirmed by Pakistani authorities.