Kin hope Sushma brings back Nanak, who strayed into Pakistan as a 7-yr-old in 1984 | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Kin hope Sushma brings back Nanak, who strayed into Pakistan as a 7-yr-old in 1984

The year was 1984, and Nanak Singh was barely seven years old when he strayed into Pakistani territory from the fields in this border village. He is now close to 40, and reported to be lodged in Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore, but the family have not lost hope of getting their son back.

punjab Updated: Feb 24, 2017 10:25 IST
Aseem Bassi
Sushma Swaraj
(From left to right) Mother of Nanak Singh Pyari Kaur and father Rattan Singh in Shanna Bedi village near Ajnala, Amritsar on Thursday.(Guroreet Singh/HT Photo)

The year was 1984, and Nanak Singh was barely seven years old when he strayed into Pakistani territory from the fields in this border village. He is now close to 40, and reported to be lodged in Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore, but the family have not lost hope of getting their son back.

In the latest, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj has sought a report from the Indian high commission in Islamabad on Nanak Singh, who has had no contact with the family since that day when he went missing while on a trip to their fields. In the jail, he is recorded as ‘Kakar Singh’, the family has learnt.

Also read |Wish to see him before I die: 32 yrs on, Sikh couple awaits son lost to Pakistan

“I still remember that day clearly,” father Rattan Singh told HT, “I was going to the fields for work and my son (Nanak Singh) was adamant at going with me. While I was working there, I noticed that he was not around. We searched for him so much! We even went to the police but we couldn’t find any link.”

“In 2002, a ray of hope emerged when cops from the Ramdas police station reached our house and said my son was in a Pakistan jail and known as ‘Kakar Singh’, said Rattan Singh. (HT File Photo)

There was no barbed fence at the time, so it was easy to mistake territories, he said.

“In 2002, a ray of hope emerged when cops from the Ramdas police station reached our house and said my son was in a Pakistan jail and known as ‘Kakar Singh’. But since then we are just waiting.”

He said he does not know why his named changed there. “In the records, we are told by officials, the father’s name is the same, the village address is the same.”

“We are happy now that minister Sushma Swaraj has taken up the matter. Media people are visiting us and we are positive,” he added.

Mother Pyari Kaur said, “We knocked on many doors, told everyone, but we couldn’t succeed in bringing him back.”

Last year, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had sent notices to the Centre after a public interest litigation was filed by a man named Swaran Singh to bring back Nanak.

(NOTE: In some earlier reports, Nanak Singh’s age was incorrectly mentioned as 5-year-old)