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Pakistan hands over Indian prisoner to BSF

July 07, 2008 13:27 IST

Indian national Ram Prakash, freed last week after serving a 10-year prison term in Pakistan on charges of spying, was on Monday repatriated following a mix-up that delayed his return home.

Prakash was handed over to Border Security Force (BSF) officers at Wagah, officials said.

The 51-year-old Indian, who was arrested by Pakistani authorities a decade ago on charges of spying, was freed from Kot Lakhpat jail in Lahore [Images] on July 1 on the orders of the Interior Ministry after he completed his prison term.

He was taken to the Wagah land border but could not be repatriated as Pakistani authorities had not officially informed the Indian High Commission here about his release. As a result, Prakash's travel documents were not prepared.

Following this, Prakash was sent back to Kot Lakhpat jail.

Reports have suggested that confusion arose when jail officials handed over Prakash to Pakistani border police to be repatriated to India without ascertaining whether he possessed travel documents.

Prakash, a resident of Tawi district in Jammu and Kashmir [Images], was convicted for alleged espionage in 1998 after being arrested by Pakistani security officials in Sialkot. He was then handed down a 10-year prison term by a special court.

However, Prakash told Pakistani TV channels at Wagah last week that he was arrested in June 1997 while he was trying to cross over to India after smuggling liquor to Pakistan. He said he was interrogated for a year before being sent to jail in Lahore.

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