The Indian government has promised to go to any extent to bring Kulbhushan Jadhav back from Pakistan. His friends have said that they will, too.
A few of the retired naval officer’s childhood friends from Parel have come together to press for his freedom. They had fond memories of the man who was a good teacher and a generous friend.
Tulsiram Pawar, Jadhav’s childhood friend, shared some of his old pictures from 20 years ago, which were taken when Jadhav lived in Parel. He told HT that they lived in opposite buildings and played together. “He was very studious and used to teach us English,” he said. He added that Jadhav was a good at studies and sports, which secure him admission to the National Defence Academy (NDA).
Jadhav’s family is reluctant to speak to the media. His uncle Subhash Jadhav, who retired as an assistant commissioner of police in Maharashtra, told HT, “Please understand that this is a trying time for the family, so I cannot comment.”
When asked if he was happy with the government’s efforts to bring his nephew back, Subhash said, “The newspapers and TV channels have already narrated the developments. I have nothing much to say.”
Jadhav’s father Sudhir is also a retired assistant commissioner of police. Jadhav studied at King George School at Dadar and later went to Ruia college, before being admitted to the NDA in Pune.
The officer had always wanted to start a business of his own and spoke less of his profession, said Pawar. “He always told us that he will get us on board when he came up with something but was arrested in Pakistan before fulfilling any of those dreams,” he said.
He added, “Kulbhushan was very helpful and always there when someone needed him. I remember how he once helped a woman in the locality, who needed immediate medical attention. She had no one to help her and Kulbhushan, who was at home for his holidays, rushed to her aid with doctors. Even after they shifted to Powai he was in touch with us.”
The friends are drafting a petition demanding Kulbhushan’s release, which they plan to submit to the governor. They said that they will do everything to bring their friend back.
“We are meeting political parties and local leaders for help. We are also trying to meet the foreign minister and prime minister,” he said.
When asked if they were wished to meet the Pakistan high commissioner, he said they would try to, if necessary. “All we want is for Kulbhushan to come back safely from Pakistan,” Pawar said
Jadhav’s family lives at in Powai. For other residents – who have all refused to speak to the media – journalists outside the main gate has now become a common sight. The Mumbai police have deployed eight police officials there for security.
According to Inter Service Public Relations (ISPR), the media wing of the Pakistan Armed Forces, Jadhav was arrested on March 3, 2016 from Mashkel in Balochistan for his “involvement in espionage and sabotage actives” in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province and Karachi city. On April 10, 2017 he was sentenced to death by a Pakistan military court for spying.