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Differently-abled Pak boy, who crossed over to Indian territory in May, acquitted

The boy became a subject of cross-border speculation following a twitter exchange between Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar and external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj.

punjab Updated: Dec 20, 2017 09:25 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Faridkot
Mehr Tarar,Sushma Swaraj,India Pkaistan relations
12-year-old differently-abled boy Hasnain(HT Photo)

A 12-year-old differently-abled boy from Pakistan, who crossed over to the Indian territory without any travel documents in May this year, was acquitted by the Juvenile Justice Board at Ferozepur on Tuesday.

Confirming the development, authorities said they will soon start the process for repatriation of the boy, lodged in Faridkot children home.

The Pakistan high commission in New Delhi had earlier written to the ministry of external affairs (MEA) to ensure early release and repatriation of the boy. He was identified as Hasnain, son of Javed Iqbal, a resident of Lahore.

The high commission had also requested the MEA to convey the date of repatriation of Hasnain at the earliest so that necessary arrangements for issuance of his travel documents may be made.

Hasnain became a subject of cross-border speculation following a twitter exchange between Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar and external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj.

This happened after Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar tweeted a Geo News report that a Pakistani boy with hearing and speech disabilities was lodged in ‘Amritsar jail’, and asked Swaraj to look into the matter.

The Border Security Force (BSF) had detained Hasnain when he crossed over to the Indian side in the Ferozepur sector of Punjab on May 1. He could not speak or hear, and it was only from a currency note in his pocket that they found he was from Pakistan. Two days later, he was sent to children’s observation home.

The police had slapped a slew of charges against the juvenile. He was booked under Sections 3 (punishment of offences committed beyond, but which by law may be tried within India), 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention), Section 20 of the Indian Passport Act and Section 14 of the Foreign Act at the police station (Sadar) in Ferozepur.

First Published: Dec 20, 2017 09:25 IST