Freed Indian Hamid Ansari reaches Attari after six years in Pakistani jail, family says time for celebration
Hamid Nehal Ansari, who spent six years at Peshawar Central Jail after he was arrested on November 14, 2012, and sentenced to three years in jail in December 2015, was brought to the Wagah border where he crossed over to the Indian side around 5.30 pm today.Updated: Dec 18, 2018 19:11 IST
Hamid Nehal Ansari is a free man and has been repatriated to India from Pakistan today. Ansari, who spent six years at the Peshawar Central Jail after he was arrested on November 14, 2012 and sentenced to three years in jail in December 2015, was brought to the Attari-Wagah border where he crossed over to the Indian side around 5.30 pm today.
He was met at the Attari border by his mother Fauzia, father Nehal and brother who hugged him as he crossed over into India and an official handed him a bottle of water. As soon as Ansari crossed over to India, he bowed down and kissed Indian soil. His mother broke down.
A BSF official present there said Ansari was examined by his mother. “She embraced him and then examined him thoroughly to see whether he has any torture marks,” he said. Ansari told his mother that he was fine.
After around five minutes of Ansari meeting his family, he was taken to an immigration office by BSF officials where he was questioned by Indian agencies. He was also not allowed to speak to media.
Earlier in the day, Fauzia Ansari, Hamid Ansari’s mother had said that he shouldn’t have gone to Pakistan without a visa. “He went with noble intentions but initially went missing and was later caught and framed. He shouldn’t have gone without a visa. His release is a victory for humanity,” she had told ANI.
“For us, it is like Hamid has taken a new birth. We did not celebrate any festival since my son went missing, but this is the day of celebration,” Hamid’s father said before receiving his son.
He said that his son hadn’t entered Pakistani with an intention to harm someone, he had gone there for a noble cause only, and that is why their prayer has been addressed by the god.
Hamid, a teacher at the Mumbai Management College, had entered Pakistan on November 12, 2012, to meet a woman whom he had befriended on social media. He was taken into custody by Pakistani intelligence agencies and local police in Kohat in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
A fake identity card in the name of Hamza was also found on him at that time.
Soon after he was picked up by the intelligence agencies, Fauzia had filed a habeas corpus petition through Pakistani lawyers and had come to know that he was in the custody of the Pakistani army and was being tried by a militant court for “anti-state activities”.
Hamid, 33, had been handed a three-year sentence in 2015 for possessing a fake Pakistani identity card on December 15, 2015. Hamid, a resident of Mumbai, had been lodged in Peshawar’s central jail after being sentenced by the military court. His jail term ended on December 15, 2018, but he could not leave for India as his legal documents were not ready.