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Pakistan frees Indian prisoner after 23 years

08 April, 2011

LAHORE: Indian national Gopal Das is being escorted by the police officials on his release after 27 years, at Wagah Border. APP
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ATTARI: An Indian national held in Pakistan for 23 years returned home on Thursday.

Gopal Das, one of Pakistan’s longest-serving Indian prisoners, crossed the border and was received by relatives in Attari. President Asif Ali Zardari ordered the release late last month after an appeal from India’s Supreme Court.

Das – who told reporters he was 26 when he was arrested – was sentenced to life in prison in June 1987 and had been due for release by the end of this year. The Presidency did not say why he was convicted, but Das himself confirmed reports that he had been jailed for spying.

“Yes ... I went to Pakistan on a spying mission and I was arrested for espionage,” said Das, who was clearly angered by what he saw as his abandonment by the Indian authorities.

“Indian intelligence never bothered to get me released from jail in Pakistan,” he said.

End.

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