‘Indian spy’ to sue government for compensation

Gopal Dass, returned to India on 7th April after spending 27 years in a Pakistani jail.

Chandigarh: Gopal Dass, who returned home
last week after spending 27 years in a Pakistani jail, on Thursday
said he will file a case seeking compensation for the loss of
precious years of his life.

"I will file a case for compensation against the
Central government," he said over phone from his native
Bhaini Mian Khan village in Gurdaspur district.

"I will speak to my lawyers who will examine the issue
before we approach the court," he said when asked when he will
file the case, adding he will be able to give details only
after the consultation process was over.

52-year-old Dass, convicted on charges of spying, was
set free from the Lahore Central Jail after Pakistan President
Asif Ali Zardari remitted his sentence on humanitarian grounds
following an appeal by the Indian Supreme Court. He crossed
over to the Indian side of the border at Attari on April 7.

Immediately on his return, Dass lamented that he had
lost the "golden period of youth in jail" and asked the Indian
government why it was silent for the past 27 years.

"I have a grudge against the Indian leadership, which
has never bothered about Indian prisoners rotting in prisons
in Pakistan for many years. Thirty-two Indian nationals who
have completed their jail terms are still languishing in
Pakistani jails for lack of initiative on the part of the
Indian government," he had said.

Dass claimed he was given Rs 500 for every trip to
Pakistan by RAW for spying and was assured that if anything
happened to him his family would be taken care of by the
authorities here.

Dass, then 25 and unmarried, had crossed over to
Pakistan in 1984 and was arrested by the Pakistani Rangers on
spying charges. He was sentenced to life imprisonment and was
set to be released by this year-end.