16 June, 2021

The Back Home Tragedies

“Isn’t it the government that sends our men across the border? They should be treated as soldiers.”

Chamel Singh’s widow Kamlesh Devi
The Back Home Tragedies

Krishna Devi, 82, lives in the hope of seeing again her son Kuldeep Singh, 48, who is said to be languishing in a Pakistani prison. “Take my message to Prime Minister Narendra Modi: Please return my son to me...he has done enough for the country. Time is running out for me. I wish to see my son’s face before I die,” she says resolutely.

Kuldeep, she says, left home on a nippy December morning without telling her. “The agency had sent him across the border. Last December, he competed 20 years in a Pakistani jail,” she says, as tears well up in her sunken eyes. Kuldeep too is believed to be in the Kot Lakhpat jail in Lahore, where Sarabjit Singh and Chamel Singh were killed.

His mother lives alone in a kacha house in Makbal village, Kathua district. Earlier, she would receive letters from her jailed son once or twice a year, but she hasn’t heard from him over two years now. Families of spies serving time in Pakistani jails, following the media clamour over Sarabjit Singh’s death, letters of Indian prisoners are not being sent...

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