Jammu, 29 August,2022: Shambu Nath, a middle-aged person, has returned to his home in the village of R S Pura after spending nearly 12 years of imprisonment in Pakistan amid hopelessness vis-a-vis his safe return.
Shambu Nath was working as a labourer with a tractor trolley and was collecting sand from the river bed when he accidentally stepped in Pakistani territory over a decade back.
Unaware that he had crossed the border, he was caught by two Pakistani Rangers who were in civilian clothes.
“I was young and was working as a labourer with the tractor trolley when I stepped across the border without knowing that I was in their (Pak) territory,” said Shambu Nath, while speaking to local media.
He said, “As soon as I stepped into their territory, the Rangers caught me and took me to their Narowal post for questioning and then to the Pak Rangers’ headquarters.”
Even after he returned, his mother still seemed to be in shock. She was continuously praying and thanking the government for his safe return. She looked at her son in shock with teary eyes.
She was unable to believe his son had safely returned home when Shambu Nath stood in front of her after his release from Pakistan’s Kot Lakhpat jail.
Shambu Nath and a man from Gujarat were released from the Pakistani jail. The man from Gujarat had spent 33 long years of his youth in Pakistani jails.
While narrating his nightmarish experiences and tortures, he sobbed as he had lost two of his family members, including his father, who died of shock after his arrest as they were suspecting that he (Shambu Nath) might have been killed.
Narrating his horrific experiences and torture in Pakistan jails, he said, “After initial questioning by Pak Rangers, I was shifted to an interrogation centre namely Gora jail managed by the army and intelligence agency. During my first eight days, I was kept standing in isolation in a dark room and tied with chains.”
“Although I continued to convince my interrogators that I was innocent and a labourer by profession and stepped on their side accidentally, they were not ready to accept my claims. I was working as a labourer to earn food for my family. But they did not listen to me,” he recalled.
“I was jailed for 10 years. But for my release, I had to wait for another 13 months. There were 16 to 18 other prisoners from India, including 4 women and all of these women were mentally disturbed due to prolonged imprisonment in isolation. All Indian prisoners were kept in a separate barrack and one among them was a person from Bishnah. He has been there for the last eight years,” he told local media.
While his mother with folded hands was thanking the government for his release, he appealed to the government to intervene and ensure the early release of other imprisoned Indian citizens in Pakistani jails.
“That was a harrowing experience when we spent days in isolation in dark cells without seeing light for days together. We would be given five minutes to eat and take a bath. Those were very difficult days,” he said.