He crossed back into India in February 2012 after being released by the Pakistani government. But, two years on, Mohammad Ahmad is still awaiting someone who would take him home. Neither is he able to share his exact address, nor has anyone come to claim him. The procedure dictates that a proper handover is necessary.
As things remain, Ahmad is one of the first people you can spot each time when you enter the local Red Cross Bhawan, where the returned Indians are kept. From the bare details provided by him, that he belongs to Moradabad district in Uttar Pradesh, the district administration has written to the UP government. “Nothing has worked so far,” says Dr Randhir Singh at the Red Cross.
Ahmad talks fine otherwise, but doesn’t say much about his house or his stay in in Pakistani jails.
“We ask him for details, but he does not share much. We have made efforts with whatever records we had. Even why he went to Pakistan and how long he spent there is not exactly known,” Dr Singh adds.
Besides Mohammad Ahmad, three other Indian nationals returned from Pakistan are waiting at the Red Cross Bhawan for someone to take them home. Jaffar-ud-din, Mangal Singh and Mohammad Fahim were released by Pakistan in November last.
Two of them do not share much detail. While Jaffar-ud-din says he doesn’t remember that he was in Pakistan, he only tells that he is a UP resident and definitely wants to go home. Mangal Singh only says he is from Bihar. Fahim has given more information but says his family has now disowned him anyway.
Dr Randhir says addresses of all three have been traced, “but nobody is coming to take them; even their district administrations are not responding”.
Fahim, who is from Ajmer in Rajasthan, says, “I spent 23 months in Landi Jail (Karachi) and three months in the captivity of the ISI (Pak spy agency). I had gone to meet relatives in Pakistan but was arrested after I attempted to make an ID card. I want to go home now but the family has disowned me. We are eight brothers and run shops.”
Deputy commissioner Ravi Bhagat says on the matter, “We have made efforts from time to time, and written to their states. We have even written now to the Union ministry of home affairs to track down their family members. But there isn’t much positive outcome till now. We will continue the efforts.”