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Police team leaves for Punjab to bring back Kutch cattle-herder released from Pakistan jail

A Pakistani court had sentenced him to five years imprisonment after convicting him of espionage.

By: Express News Service | Rajkot |
Updated: January 25, 2021 11:32:46 pm
(REUTERS/Mian Khursheed/Files)

A team of police from Kutch (west) Sunday left for Punjab after the district administration of Amritsar sent a communication to the Gujarat Police to visit the state for facilitating the return of Ismail Sama, a cattle-herder from Kutch who was released by a Pakistan jail three days ago.

“We received a communication from the district magistrate of Amritsar regarding the arrival of a man from Nana Dinara village. Accordingly, we sent our team last evening to Amritsar and bring the man back to Kutch,” Saurabh Singh, Superintendent of Police, Kutch (west), told The Indian Express Monday.

A 53-year-old cattle-herder from Nana Dinara village near Khavda on the India-Pakistan border in Kutch district, Ismail was handed over to the Indian authorities at Wagah border Friday and has been put up at Amritsar branch of Indian Red Cross Society.

After his release, Ismail’s step brother Yunus and Nana Dinara deputy sarpanch Fazalla Sama had reached Amritsar Saturday morning to receive him. While the authorities allowed Yunus and Fazalla to meet Ismail, the 53 year old was not allowed to leave the Amritsar facility.

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“He is in custody of Red Cross, Amritsar. Some persons had turned up as his relatives. But we will give his custody to officials of Gujrat. An official team from Gujarat is coming to Amritsar. He may leave for Gujarat with the team in one or two days,” an Amritsar district administration spokesman said.

Ismail had gone missing from his village in August 2008 and was found in a Karachi jail in 2014. His family believe that he had either crossed over to Pakistan after losing the way while grazing his cattle or was abducted by Pakistani border guards.

A Pakistani court had sentenced him to five years imprisonment after convicting him of espionage. The sentence had ended in October 2016 but he had continued to be in detention pending the verification of his nationality and other formalities. On January 14 this year, the Islamabad high court ordered his repatriation on January 22.

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