Rights body seeks report on Amritsar jail inmate

PSHRC sought a report from top govt & police officials on report claiming that a person had been lodged in Amritsar jail for 8 yrs after being wrongly branded as Pak citizen.

Last Updated: Sep 24, 2010, 21:32 PM IST

Chandigarh: The Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) on Friday sought a report from top government and police officials on a report claiming that a person had
been lodged in Amritsar jail for eight years after being wrongly branded as a Pakistani citizen.

The Commission directed the state chief secretary, Amritsar Deputy Commissioner and DGP to file their replies by November 19, taking suo motu cognisance of reports related to Wasil Khan in a section of media, its spokesman said here.
Mohazra Khatoon, 45, a resident of Bihar, had claimed that Khan was not a Pakistani citizen but her "younger brother" who had gone missing ten years ago. Khan was booked by the Gurdaspur Police in 2000 and was declared a Pakistani citizen after he was found wandering near the border in a "mentally unstable" condition, a media report said.

He was later handed over to the Ludhiana Police that booked him on March 24, 2002 in connection with a bomb blast in Sirhind and was sentenced to jail. He was tried as Pakistani citizen.

Khan is at present lodged with other Pakistani prisoners in the jail`s transit camp who are waiting to be sent back to Pakistan after serving their sentence. Along with her husband Shaahid Raza Khan and two relatives, Khatoon arrived in Amritsar from Bihar on Wednesday and produced documents claiming that Khan was an Indian who was wrongly arrested in a "clear case of mistaken identity".

Khan, who has served eight years in jail, is a resident of Nekerdehi village in East Champaran, formerly Motihari district, of Bihar, the report claimed. According to Khan, he had run away from home after a fight and had started working as a helper on a truck ferrying apples from Jammu and Kashmir to Delhi.

Khan`s family produced the voter list of their area in which his name was present and his school certificates to prove his nationality. The Commission fixed October 27 as the next date of hearing.

PTI