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Released prisoners from Pakistan wait for help from Indian Government

Amritsar , Thu, 01 Mar 2012 ANI

Amritsar, March 1 (ANI): Released prisoners from Pakistan, who have arrived here, have sought monetary assistance from the Indian Government to enable them to return to their respective hometown.


On February 16, India and Pakistan exchanged prisoners at the Wagah Border.


A released prisoner from Pakistan, Musharaff Hussain, told reporters that he had been in a Pakistan prison for 34 years.


"I stayed there in prison for 34 years. I went to Lahore in Pakistan from Panthal in Jammu and Kashmir. After I reached Lahore, I took a train to Karachi and I was caught there and put behind bars. I was put in Lahore prison for some time then in jail in Karachi. After that, I was sent to India," said Hussain.


Hussain added that he is from Bangladesh, but has no family there.


The five released prisoners expressed their anguish over the delay in help from the Indian Government.


"I only wish to say that I want to go back home to my parents. My father is a poor laborer from where will he bear the expenses to come here. Will he work for food or will he come over here? Our government does not give any help so that they can come here. Government should give us some money so that we can leave," said Harichaand, a freed prisoner.


The Deputy Commissioner Police of Amritsar city, Rajat Agarwal, said the prisoners would be released only after the identities of the prisoners was ascertained.


"Without carrying out proper identification we can not send these people. As you know last month we received a case that identification of one of the prisoner could not be carried out properly as it is being said that he is a Bangladeshi national. So, till the time proper investigations are not done, we cannot release him from our custody but on the humanitarian grounds we have provided them food and shelter," said Agarwal.


Earlier this month, Pakistan had freed 180 Indian fishermen who had completed their sentences.


About 362 Indian prisoners, mostly fishermen, still remain in Pakistan's custody.


India shares an expansive maritime border with Pakistan without any perceptible demarcation and fishermen on both sides often ignore rules while netting their catch.


Fishermen of both countries frequently stray into each other's territorial waters and end up spending years in prison. (ANI)


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