Thr family of Kulbhushan Jadhav learnt about his death sentence on Sunday evening through officials and was told to prepare for the “worst,” a family source told The Indian Express.
The source, who spoke on the condition that he not be named, said that the family is distraught and hopes the Government will do “whatever it takes at whatever level” to bring relief.
“Jadhav was not provided any consular access and, therefore, the verdict by the Pak court defies the principle of natural justice where the accused gets a reasonable opportunity to defend himself. The alleged confessional statement would have been extracted from him. The family is hopeful that the government will intervene,” the source said, adding. “However, it has been indicated to them that options before the Government are very limited.”
After Pakistan issued a press release announcing the verdict, Jadhav’s family, who stay in Powai in suburban Mumbai, declined to speak to the press.
“Jadhav’s father, Sudhir Jadhav, who retired as an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) has a heart condition. He has been a worried man since the capture of his son in March 2016. With the release of Indian Army soldier Chandu Chavan (who inadvertently crossed the LoC on the night when India carried out surgical strikes in September last year) in January this year and also the grant of consular access to Hamid Ansari, a Versova resident who is also arrested by Pakistan Army on spying charges, the family was hopeful. That’s why news of the sentencing came as a shock,” said the source.
After TV crews began staking out the Powai residence in Mumbai’s Hiranandani Complex, Jadhav family members requested a senior Mumbai Police officer to deploy police outside their building. The scene was no different at the Shivaji Park residence of Subhash Jadhav, Kulbhushan’s uncle.
Police were also deployed there. Subhash Yadav is a former Mumbai Police officer who was part of the team that investigated the 2002 Salman Khan hit-and-run case. Subhash Jadhav also retired as an ACP with the Mumbai Police.
“We have seen Kulbhushan visit his uncle a couple of times. We learnt about his sentencing through the press,” said a neighbour.
Meanwhile, a childhood friend of Kulbhushan Jadhav expressed shock over the death sentence. “Jadhav always spoke about starting his own business after quitting the Navy. In early 2000, he took voluntary retirement and become a trader. He used to travel abroad for business-related activities. We find the claims made by the Pak Army outrageous.”
Colonel Devinder Sehrawat, AAP MLA from Bijwasan in New Delhi, told The Indian Express that the government should have been more aggressive in its attempts to bring Jadhav back. “The ISI is known to cook up such stories and frame innocent people. Even the video released by the Pakistan Army after his capture looked concocted and was edited. The government should have been more aggressive,” he said.