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Mumbai engineer returns home after 6 years in Pakistan jail

Last updated on: December 18, 2018 19:34 IST

Hamid Nihal Ansari was awarded imprisonment by a Pakistani military court in December 2015 after being slapped with charges of espionage and involvement in anti-state activities on him.

IMAGE: Hamid Nihal Ansari, who was repatriated by Pakistan after six years in jail, being received by his mother Fauzia Ansari, at Attari-Wagah border in Amritsar. Photograph: PTI Photo

Indian national Hamid Nihal Ansari, who was arrested eight years back after he came to Pakistan to meet a woman he had befriended through social media, has returned to India after completing his three-year prison sentence in Pakistan jail.

It was an emotional reunion for the Ansari family at the Attari-Wagah border on Tuesday, whose long struggle ended and eventually their efforts bore fruit.

His mother, Fauzia Nehal Ahmed Ansari, who called her son’s release “a victory of humanity”, said that he had no “bad intentions”.

 

“My son went with noble intentions. Hamid had no bad intentions, but initially went missing and was later caught and framed. He shouldn’t have gone without a visa. His release is a victory for humanity,” Hamid’s mother said.

IMAGE: Hamid and his family touched the ground at the Wagah border after he was released by the Pakistani authorities. Photograph: PTI Photo

Ansari was awarded three-year imprisonment by a military court in December 2015 after being slapped with charges of espionage and involvement in anti-state activities on him.

The court gave the verdict after Pakistan’s ministry of interior appraised it that Ansari will be repatriated to India after completion of his prison term on December 15.

The Pakistani security agencies had claimed that Hamid had used fake identity card in the name of “Hamza” and had entered Pakistan through Afghanistan without travel documents. They had charged him for “anti-state activities”.

IMAGE: Ansari, who was repatriated by Pakistan after six years in jail, being received by his mother Fauzia Ansari, father Nehal Ansari (in tie) and elder brother Khali Ansari, at Attari-Wagah border in Amritsar. Photograph: PTI Photo

A former teacher at the Mumbai Management College, Ansari went to Pakistan in 2012 to meet a woman whom he had befriended through social media. Ansari went missing after he was apprehended by the Pakistan intelligence agencies and local police from Kohat district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan in November 2012.

Following the news of his release, India on Monday welcomed Pakistan’s decision to repatriate him, saying that it came as a “great relief for the family members”.

Meanwhile, in a Mumbai suburb, an entire neighbourhood was glued to the TV sets on Tuesday to catch a glimpse of Hamid Nihar Ansari, who they saw last six years ago.          

His mother filed a habeas corpus petition in Delhi high court, following which the news about his arrest became public.

IMAGE: Fauzia Ansari, mother of Hamid Nihal Ansari who is being released by Pakistan after six years in jail, addresses the media. Photograph: PTI Photo

As soon as the 33-year-old, released from a Pakistani jail to be repatriated to India, crossed the Wagah-Attari border and kissed the Indian soil, his neighbours in suburban Versova celebrated by hugging each other and distributing sweets.

Ansari then hugged his parents who were present at the border to receive him, six years after he was detained by Pakistani intelligence agencies for entering the country illegally reportedly to meet a girl he had befriended online.

“It was an emotional scene as we saw Hamid cross the border around 5.30 pm and kneel down to kiss the Indian soil,” said senior journalist and social activist Jatin Desai, who accompanied the youth’s family from Mumbai to Wagah.

-- With inputs from PTI

Source: ANI
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