Freed by Pak,imprisoned by their mind

For the four Indians who were released along with 13 others by the Pakistan government on June 23 at Wagah,freedom from jail hasn’t meant a reunion with their families.

Written by Lalmani Verma | Lucknow | Published: June 28, 2010 5:20 am

Two men from state,patients of schizophrenia,land in a mental hospital in Amritsar

For the four Indians who were released along with 13 others by the Pakistan government on June 23 at Wagah,freedom from jail hasn’t meant a reunion with their families. They have all been hospitalised in Amritsar’s Institute of Mental Hospital for treatment of schizophrenia,which could be the consequence of their long imprisonment.

Among the four,two are from Uttar Pradesh — Iliyas from Fathepur and Shambhuram,a resident of Kushinagar.

Institute Director Dr B L Goyal said: “The police brought two prisoners,belonging to UP,and two others from Madhya Pradesh and Punjab,to the hospital on Friday. Primary investigation suggests that all four are suffering from schizophrenia.”

It is a mental illness characterised by abnormalities in the perception or expression of reality.

Though the prisoners have been kept at the hospital,they will be formally admitted on Monday after the police obtains permission from the court,said Goyal.

According to a hospital employee,the four patients had been kept in the general ward under high security. Since no relatives have come forward,the hospital is providing them with food.

“Their relatives are probably not aware of where they are,” said Goyal.

On June 23,along with Iliyas and Shambhuram,two other prisoners belonging to Uttar Pradesh were released. They were Mohd Sareen,a resident of Tanhar Tehsil in Shahjahanpur and Riyazuldeen of Ghaziabad. They had reached their homes the same day,said official sources.

Iliyas’ father Badlu Sah does not know why his son hasn’t come home. On Sunday,men from the Local Intelligence Unit (LIU) told him that somebody from the family will have to go to Amritsar and contact the Border Security Force.

Since Sah is a small farmer who does not have sufficient money for the journey,his neighbour Salman has agreed to help Sah and his wife Salma Khatoon to make the trip.

“God knows where he is right now. He left home suddenly eight years ago and has been untraceable since then. We tried to find him everywhere but in vain. Two days ago,the Lalauli police told me that my son was held in Pakistan and has been released,” said Badlu.

Salma Khatoon said her son could not have done anything wrong. “He must have crossed the border unknowingly,” she said. Iliyas went missing on the morning of April 22,2002. He is 33 now,said Salma.

Fatehpur SP Vijay Garg said he will send a communiqué to the Union Home Ministry regarding the identification of Iliyas and his parents. “I don’t know why Iliyas has been detained while others were sent home. I will try to speak to the higher-ups and extend maximum help to the parents,” said Garg.

On the other hand,Shambhuram’s family in Kushinagar did not even know that he has been released by the Pakistan government. When told that he was in a hospital,they decided to leave for Amrtisar on Monday.

Shambhuram was mentally-challenged when he went missing in 2005. Two years later,the LIU told the family that he was lodged in the Lahore Central Jail. The family then wrote several letters to the Prime Minister,the foreign minister and the Uttar Pradesh chief minister,requesting them to get Shambhuram home.

Shambhuram is married and has a six-year-old daughter. She and his wife Phool Kumari stay with his mother Patiya Devi.

His elder brother,Ram Chandra,said that one day Shambhuram left home,telling his mother that he was going to look for work but never returned. After waiting for over a month,the family checked with their relatives and informed the police.

(With inputs from Vijay Pratap Singh)

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