8 inmates released from Pakistan jail languishing in Amritsar mental asylum for 10 years | punjab | Hindustan Times
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8 inmates released from Pakistan jail languishing in Amritsar mental asylum for 10 years

The eight persons including a woman were released by Pakistan in 2007 but nobody was there to greet them on this side of the border.

punjab Updated: May 31, 2017 09:25 IST
Amritsar
Director BL Goyal with the patients at the mental health institute in Amritsar.
Director BL Goyal with the patients at the mental health institute in Amritsar.(Sameer Sehgal/HT Photo)

Eight people, released 10 years back from Pakistani jails through the Attari-Wagah joint check post,have been living in the Institute of Mental Health. In the last decade the patients have never been visited by family or relatives even once.

The eight persons including a woman were released by Pakistan in 2007 but nobody was there to greet them on this side of the border.

Many of them who were admitted to the hospital due to poor health, still don’t remember their name and houses. The persons have no memory of going Pakistan or being jailed there.

‘Doctor saab mujhe ghar bhej do’ (doctor please send me home), pleads Raj Dev to the director of the institute Dr BL Goel. Goel has also tried to find about their families but to no avail.

Raj Dev remembers nothing about how and why he went Pakistan. “I went from the border. I was arrested and put in jail,” says Dev. Another patient, Mohammad Kamaal, does not even know whether he is presently in India or Pakistan. “This is Pakistan. I am in Pakistan. I was in jail and later brought here,” says Dev. The woman Maya, who claims to be from Haryana has also spent 10 years in the institute.

From outer appearance Maya looks in early fifties but when asked, she says, she is 23. The other five patients are Farooq, Gopal Bhagat, Chandi, Ram Dass and Naseem Pal. As per doctors, torture and isolation in jail can be major reasons for their ill health.

Doctor have also claimed that few patients might be mentally challenged earlier also and crossed over to Pakistan inadvertently. Director Goel says, “When these 8 patients came to us in 2007 they were in a bad shape. But with medication and treatment things have improved .”

Goel said 17 Indian national in total were released by Pakistan in 2007 and brought to this institute. “Though 9 were taken back by families, these 8 are still waiting game,” said Goel.