Work actively to release Indians from Pak jails: Gopal Das



Ahmedabad: Gopal Das, the Indian who returned home after spending 27 years in a Pakistani jail last month, today expressed displeasure for being "disowned" by the government and said it needs to work pro-actively for release of its citizens languishing in prisons in the neighbouring country.

Das, on a two-day visit to the state, also filed an affidavit in the Gujarat High Court in support of a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking release and compensation for 54 Indian Prisoners of War (POWs) languishing in Pakistan prisons.

"The Indian Government had no role to play in my release from Pakistan jail. Earlier, the government was not even accepting my nationality as an Indian," Das told reporters here.

The 52-year-old said he was released after 27 years due to the efforts of his brother Anandveer and Pakistani human rights activist Ansar Burni.

"It is disheartening that the government, for whom I worked as spy, not only disowned me, but also did not give any compensation to me or my family," Das said.

He has filed a petition in the Supreme Court demanding compensation for his lost years in Pakistani jail.

Das, convicted on charges of spying and sentenced to life imprisonment, 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 Supreme Court of India.

He crossed over to the Indian side of the border at Attari, Punjab, on April 7.

PTI