After spending 29 years in a Pakistani jail, Kathua resident Kuldeep Singh returned to a rousing welcome at his hometown here on Friday night, following which he asked the youth to “never pull back from making any sacrifice for the country”.
Singh (53), along with Mohammad Gufran from Aurangabad, were released by Pakistan on Monday and they reached Red Cross Bhavan at Guru Nanak Dev Hospital in Punjab after their repatriation.
Singh said Pakistani agencies tortured him for three years after his arrest in 1992. He was produced in a court for alleged espionage and subsequently sent to 25 years of imprisonment. A resident of Makwal village at Billawar in Kathua, Singh was accorded a warm welcome by the villagers who burnt firecrackers and raised slogans in praise of the country and him.
“My message to all my friends, villagers and especially the youth is to stay away from wrong paths that can harm them. But, never pull back when it comes to making any sacrifice for the country,” he told reporters.
After his arrest in Pakistan, his family members said, they learnt about his whereabouts only when he wrote to them from Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail.
They said they had lost all hope as there was no contact with Singh for the past eight years following the killing of Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh, who was also convicted of spying.
“We are happy that he is back and among us after so many years,” a relative said.
Jammu: Exodus Day Observed as Black Day
Due to the increasing influence of terrorism, the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits started on this day in 1990. Kashmiri Pandits celebrated this day of expulsion as Black Day.
On Wednesday, Kashmiri displaced Pandits protested by taking out a rally in Jagti. These Kashmiri Pandits said that this dark day is remembered by every Kashmiri Pandit who was forced to leave the Valley. It is the job of the Government of India to conduct an inquiry by setting up a commission, and those who had spoiled the situation in Kashmir should be fed the air of jails. Kashmiri Pandits demonstrated fiercely and on the other hand, demanded that the return of Kashmiri Pandits to the Valley be ensured.
For the last 32 years, Kashmiri Pandits have been cut off from their own land. Addressing the occasion, Jagti Tenement Committee President Shadi Lal Pandita said that these Kashmiri Pandits had to leave their homes due to terrorism in the Valley, but today this Kashmiri Pandit wants to connect with their soil and establish three big satellite colonies in Kashmir. If the government does this, then 70 thousand Kashmiri Pandit families will go back to the Valley and join their soil. But now, the central government is not taking any step in this direction. Therefore, Kashmiri Pandits should be told the plan with the central government to return to the Valley.
On the other hand, Raj Kumar Tikku said that January 19 would not be forgotten by Kashmiri Pandits. When the situation in Kashmir turned completely against the Kashmiri Pandits and announcements were made on loudspeakers to leave the Valley. Kashmiri Pandits were forced to migrate for their safety and their families. Many Kashmiri Pandits also lost their lives. The Central Government should now constitute an inquiry committee to bring the real culprits to the jails.
Mystery of Lucknow family allegedly missing in J&K solved
The startling revelation came to light on Wednesday about the Lucknow family allegedly missing during their travel to Jammu and Kashmir.
Earlier reports had said that three members of a family from Lucknow — Mehmood Ali Khan, his wife Darakshan and their son, Shavez — had gone missing in Ramban district while they were on their way from Jammu to Srinagar.
Police sources said according to Salim Khan, brother-in-law of Mehmood Ali Khan, all 3 members were murdered by elder son, Sarfaraz Khan on January 5, the day they were leaving towards Jammu by train.
“After disposing of their dead bodies, he meticulously planned to mislead the relatives and police. He clandestinely visited Jammu and Kashmir and messaged via WhatsApp from his father’s mobile phone on 14th January morning in which he posed as his younger brother, Shavez and said that they are stuck on the highway due to landslides.
“He even posted some pictures of the highway,” said the sources.
The details of the case came to light when the J&K police traced the phone in Lucknow that was used to send WhatsApp messages.
Police said Sarfraz had murdered his father, mother and brother in Lucknow itself. On January 6 the body of a youth with a slit throat was found on Lucknow’s Mall Road in the Itaunja area.
Police were unable to identify the body. After this, two more bodies with slit throats were found in the Malihabad area in Lucknow.
After the photographs of the three persons allegedly missing in J&K’s Ramban area were published, police in Lucknow were able to identify all three.
Subsequent investigation revealed that the eldest son of the family, Sarfraz had murdered them. Sarfraz has been taken into custody.
Police said other contacts of Sarfraz are also being questioned. The motive of the gruesome crime is still not known.
Car theft at SMGS Hospital, thief arrested
Car theft has been reported from SMGS Hospital, Jammu. The car model identified as Chevrolet Tavera was stolen outside the hospital premises.
As per the details, the car owner is a resident of Doda who had come to visit his ailing relatives admitted to the hospital.
When the possessor of the car couldn’t find his vehicle in the parking, he timely complained about the theft in the police station.
During the investigation, a team of Police led by SHO city inspector, Vijay Kumar under the supervision of SDPO DySP Sharad Kallu, raided at different places to search the accused and eventually succeeded in arresting him.
Police have also recovered the stolen Tavera from his possession. As per the police sources, the accused is a resident of RS Poora, Jammu and has been notorious for such thefts in the past.
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