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Search continues for the 'dead' soldier
May 05, 2005 17:27 IST
The Supreme Court, acting on the belief of a woman that her husband is alive despite official records of his death in the 1971 India-Pakistan war, has asked the Ministry of External Affairs and Border Security Force to continue the search for the soldier.
Dealing with a petition filed by Angrej Kaur, seeking a direction for the release of her husband, Surjit Singh, from a Pakistani jail, a Bench comprising Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice S H Kapadia said: "In mythology Sati Savitri's prayer ensured that her husband Satyavan escaped the jaws of death."
According to the petitioner, her husband was reported missing in December 1971.
The authorities declared him dead and granted her family pension.
However, Angrez Kaur was pleasantly surprised when Khushi Mohammed, who returned from a jail in Pakistan in 2004 after 14 years, recognised Surjit Singh's photograph and said the BSF soldier is lodged in 'Kot Lakhpat Rai Jail'.
Two more prisoners released by Pakistan also recognised her husband's photograph. When her representations to the authorities for his release did not evoke any response, Angrez Kaur approached the apex court with a habeas corpus petition.
The SC Bench said, "The authorities shall continue the efforts to find out the actual position and expeditiously intimate the petitioner, the results of the efforts/inquiries made by them."
Though the court disposed of Kaur's petition, it said, "Let status report indicating the latest development in the matter be filed within three months before the Bench."
The court was satisfied that the BSF had made attempts to trace Surjit Singh by raising the matter with their Pakistani counterparts at various routine meetings.