Guj fisherman's daughter seeks Sonia, PM's help to visit Pak

Guj fisherman's daughter seeks Sonia, PM's help to visit Pak

 In her second letter in a fortnight seeking intervention of the Congress president Sonia Gandhi, the 12-year-old daughter of a local fisherman, who died in a jail in Pakistan, has sought her and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's help for facilitating her visit to the prison.

"I am writing the second letter today to Soniaji, Manmohan Singh and other leaders seeking their help in getting me and other family members the passports and visa so that we can pay our last respect to my departed father", Bhavika, the daughter of Bhikha Lakha Shiyal who died in Karachi jail in December 2013, told PTI today.

Shiyal (35), a native of Garal village in Junagadh district, was reportedly captured by Pakistani authorities. His death was conveyed to his kin on January 4.

"We come from lowest strata of society. Though we want to perform my father's last rites here, we have yet to receive his body from Pakistan government hence arrangements should be done to send us to that country", Bhavika said.

Bhavika's mother Devuben had passed away two years ago and she is currently staying with her aunt, along with her three-year-old brother Pinak.

In her first letter to Sonia dated January 28, Bhavika had said: "I am approaching Soniaji because she, being a mother, will understand my plight and also that of my three-year-old brother. We have become orphans after the death of my father and mother in a period of just two years".

Bhavika's aunt Sonaben suspects her brother Bhikha might have died "unnatural" death in the jail.

The family of the deceased had alleged authorities in the neighbouring country were delaying the release of his body owing to the "mystery" surrounding his death.

Veljibhai Masani, senior vice-president of the Gujarat Fishermen Association, has said Pakistan government is not releasing the mortal remains of the fisherman despite the state government and Centre completing all formalities in this regard.

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