A peek into Kulbhushan Jadhav’s life before he became ‘spy’ in Pakistan
Kulbhushan Jadhav, a former Indian Navy officer who has been sentenced to death by Pakistan, spent his early days in Maharashtra’s Parel and used to stay in the police quarters with his family.
The ex-naval officer’s childhood friend Tulsiram Pawar, who was his neighbour, said the former National Defence Academy alumni was good at both sports and studies.
Pawar said Jadhav, who has been convicted on charges of espionage and sabotage, was helpful and “always there when someone needed him”, recounting the time when Jadhav rushed with the aid of doctors to help a woman in their locality who need immediate medical attention.
Now, Jadhav is languishing in a jail in Pakistan. India has said it has no details on Jadhav’s health or location.
Diplomatic ties between India and Pakistan plunged following Jadhav’s conviction, with external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj warning Islamabad of the consequences of Jadhav’s death sentence.
In Anewadi village in Maharashtra, people remember the 46-year-old as a shy man who kept mostly to himself.
“Whenever he came to Anewadi, he had something to offer to the villagers,” said Sadashiv Tilekar, who runs an auto spare-parts shop in the Anewadi village located in Satara district.
Villagers know the odds are stacked against Jadhav but take hope in the release of Chandu Chavan, another soldier who crossed over the border and was captured by Pakistan.
After the conviction, Jadhav’s friends have started a signature campaign to put pressure on Pakistan and secure their friend’s release. They are ready to meet the Pakistan high commissioner and appeal to political leaders.
“All we want is for Kulbhushan to come back safely from Pakistan,” says Pawar.
HT has exclusive images of the former naval officer’s life. Here’s a peek:
New Delhi denies all charges and says Jadhav was coerced into accepting charges in a purported video of his confession.
Jadhav was reportedly captured in Balochistan in March last year. He was tried by a field general court martial or an army court under provisions of the Pakistan Army Act and the Official Secrets Act.
Jadhav can appeal the death sentence to Pakistan’s Supreme Court within 60 days.