Villagers in Jasaipur of Banda district in Bundelkhand region are a worried lot due to the growing tension on the Indo-Pak border. The reason: 12 men from this village are lodged in a jail in Pakistan since 2017. The families have been taking all efforts to get them released and have now decided to send letters to the Prime Minister and External Affairs Minister for help.
The 12 persons, working as fishermen in Gujarat, were arrested for violating their territorial waters. Since their arrest, the families have been requesting the central and the state governments for help to get them released.
Inspector Rajeev Kumar, Local Intelligence Unit (LIU) in charge in Banda district, said, “We have no other details except that 12 persons from Jasaipur village are in a Pakistani jail.”
Village head, Gyan Singh, said, “We want the cross-border issue to be settled soon because it may affect the release of 12 of our men in Pakistani jail. They were working as fishermen in Gujarat and were arrested by Pakistani security men while at work. They all had gone at different time period for employment. Some of them went to Gujarat in 2017.”
Ghanshyam, a government school teacher and elder brother of Chandra Prakash, one of the men in jail, told the Indian Express, “Chandra Prakash (34) went to Gujarat in 2017 along with two other local residents. In December, 2017, we received a call from Gujarat informing that Chandra Prakash got arrested in Pakistan after the boat entered their territory.” Since then, they have been making all efforts for his release, Ghanshyam said.
“Recently, I sent a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath seeking help in release of Chandra Prakash. So far, I have not received any reply,” added Ghanshyam.
Chandra Prakash’s wife and two children — daughter (6) and son (2) are in the village. “Around two months ago, we got a letter from Chandra Prakash who is in a Karachi jail. He was hopeful to be released soon,” added Ghanshyam.
Manoj Kumar, whose elder brother Akhilesh Srivastava is also lodged in a Pakistan jail, said, “We are worried over the growing tension between India and Pakistan and hope that the situation would become normal soon. We know until the tension gets settled, the Pakistan government would not consider releasing them. I have sent a letter to UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, seeking his help for the release of my brother,” said Manoj.
Akhilesh Srivastava (27) is unmarried and went to Gujarat in 2017. “In 2018, we got a letter from him in which he had asked about the well-being of the family,” added Manoj.
Chhiduwa (60) is waiting his son Pappu to be released from Pakistan jail. “My son went to Gujarat in 2016. A year later, I got a call from a businessman there that my son was arrested in Pakistan. Last year, I got a letter from Pappu sent from a Pakistani jail but since then we have not received any information on him,” said Chhidduwa, a labourer. Pappu’s wife Kalawati along with two children — daughter (5) and son (2) — stay with the family in the village.
Shivpyari Devi, whose husband Babu (49) is lodged in Pakistan jail, has not received any letter from her husband. “After hearing about the tension between India and Pakistan from others, I have decided to meet senior officials to get my husband released from Pakistani jail.” Shivpyari has three children and eldest among them, Kamal (22), does farming and earns for the family.
Bhairam, father of Om Prakash (30) who is among the 12 arrested by Pakistan, said, “My another son, Deepak, who is employed in Surat in Gujarat, has been pursuing for the release of Om Prakash. We want the governments of both the countries to settle down the issue soon.” The wife and two children of Om Prakash are staying in the village.