Indian stuck in Pak jail for 36 yrs to walk free today

Family was unaware of his existence

Gajanand Sharma will walk free this afternoon from across Attari-Wagha border in Punjab after spending 36 years in a Pakistani jail. (PTI File Photo)

After languishing in a Pakistan jail for 36 years, Jaipur resident Gajanand Sharma will walk free this afternoon from across Attari-Wagha border in Punjab.

Sharma was 32-years-old when he "strayed" into Pakistan and was arrested by the Pakistan Rangers deployed at the border. The exact nature of his crime is still unclear. His family and the Indian government were unaware of his existence until this year.

Now 68, Sharma will be received by his wife Makhni, son Mukesh and others at the border on Monday afternoon.

He is scheduled to be released from the Lahore Central jail shortly. Sharma would be part of the over 20 other Indians who are likely to be released today ahead of Independence Day on Wednesday.

Sharma was sentenced to a shorter period but due to lack of consular access, he continued to remain in jail.

The family is unaware of the crime for which Sharma had to spend several decades behind bars. It was in May 2018 that the External Affairs Ministry, the Jaipur Police and Sharma's family came to know after a thorough inquiry that Sharma was alive and lodged in a Pakistan jail.

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Indian stuck in Pak jail for 36 yrs to walk free today

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