It was a moment of joy for the entire Saifabad village on Wednesday as its 24-year-old son Jatinder Singh reached home on Wednesday evening, after being released from Kot Lakhpat prison in Lahore.
The family rushed to the Wagah border to receive him on Wednesday and Thursday was a day to celebrate. Villagers and local residents crowded Jatinder on Thursday, who was quite willing to narrate his experiences. Sultanpur Lodhi MLA Navtej Singh Cheema also visited the village to congratulate the family. Parents Mohinder Singh and Nirmal Kaur said: "Our prayers have worked. Without our son, we were living a listless life."
Jatinder Singh was recruited by the Fibrax construction group based at Dubai. In August 2009, he left Dubai on a three-year legal visa. Later, he fell into the trap of travel agents who allured him with the promise of a UK visa. In the process of transit, he was arrested somewhere in Iran and remained in police custody for nearly 15 days. Thereafter, the Iran police deported him back to the Afghanistan border. Here, he was kidnapped by some unidentified people, who demanded Rs. 3 lakh for his release.
After collecting the ransom, the kidnappers sent him to Pakistan, where the Lahore police arrested him.
"Previously, Indians were treated very badly, However, over the past four months, we were treated humanely," he said of his experience in Pakistan jail.
"It took me nearly six months to convince the Pakistan police that I was telling the truth. They then released me and handed me over to the Red Cross authorities, who brought me to India through Wagha Border. The first thing, I did after entering India was to inform to my parents," he said.
Sarabjeet Singh was also imprisoned in the same prison, he told HT and that they used to meet every fortnight.
"He was sentenced for death so he was kept in a separate cell. However, he was treated very normally due to international pressure," he said. "I had lost all hope of being free. Life seems like a dream come true now."