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Pak prisoners heading for Wagah border

Source: PTI
September 11, 2005 19:56 IST
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Ahead of the scheduled release on Monday of 152 Pakistanis, who have served their sentences, scores of them were released from various Indian jails and were being taken to the Wagah border in Punjab, where they would be handed over to the authorities of the neighbouring country.

While 33 Pakistani nationals were freed from different jails in Jammu region, six of them were set free in Jaisalmer disctrict in Rajasthan and were being escorted to the Indo-Pak border, official sources said.

Of the 33 Pakistanis who will walk to freedom, four are deaf and mute, five physically handicapped, six minors andone of them is a woman, officials in Jammu said.

After being released on Saturday from the Kotbalwal jail, Jammu Central jail, Hiranagar and Udhampur jails, they would be escorted under high security to Punjab by Jammu police and handed over to Pakistani officials at a function at the Wagah border on Monday, they said.

"No hard core Pakistani involved in militancy has been released as they have court cases pending against them for involvement in such activities," they said adding, that the cases of the 33 prisoners, who are being repatriated to Pakistan, have been closed with permission of the court.

A despatch from Jaisalmer, quoting Sub-Divisional Magistrate Nakhatdan Bareth, said six Pakistanis, who were nabbed while trespassing the border along Rajasthan, were released from three jails in the district on Friday.

All of them were handed over to the superintendent of police on Saturday and a special team would take them to Wagah for handing over to Pakistani authorities, he said, giving their names as Noor Mohammed, Riyaz, Safi, Iliyas, Syed Gulam Hussain, and Irfan.

Officials in Jammu attributed the release, the highest so far in one go from the state, to the current bonhomie between the two countries.

About 18 Pakistanis who intruded into Indian territory during the last six months period were arrested along the Indo-Pak border, but were returned to Pakistani authorities the next day by Army and Border Security Force authorities after thorough interrogation, the officials said.

Earlier, those who were found guilty of border crossing were slapped with two to three year jail terms, they said.

While the deaf and mute Pakistanis, released from Jammu, were identified as Nazir Ahmed and Naba of Dirgah Sharief, Arif and Showkat, the disabled were identified as Murtaza of Gujranwala town, Sajad of Tota-Abbaspora, Abid Ali, Ali Raza and Mohmmad Aslan of Shakergarh.

The minors were identified as Khalid of Sialkote, Nomi Ali, Mohmmad Youqoob Aslam, Karoo and Maig Mohmmad -- all below the age of 14, they said adding, that all the prisoners had served their sentences that varied from two to five years.

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