India-Pakistan body releases list of Pak prisoners in Indian jails

AMRITSAR (TIP): Aaghaz-e-Dosti, a joint body comprising India-based Mission Bharatiyam and Pakistan-based The Catalyst, has released a list of Pakistani prisoners languishing in Indian jails on public domain. It will also release a list of Indian prisoners lodged in Pakistan jails within a month’s time. “Till date these lists were only available at government level and not on public domain,” Ravi Nitesh, founder of Mission Bharatiyam, said on Thursday. He added that in many cases relatives of prisoners didn’t even know about their whereabouts.

“This is probably the first time that any such detailed list has been made public. We hope to facilitate transparency and sensitize people on both sides about each other’s pain and towards the larger goal of peace and humanity,” Nitesh said. According to the list that is updated till July 2013 and available on the organization’s website, there are 345 Pakistani prisoners, including 107 fishermen and 11 women, in Indian jails.

While offences of five prisoners have not been registered, 48 have completed their jail sentence but were still behind bars. As many as 27 prisoners were awaiting nationality confirmation from the Pakistan high commission. While some had completed their sentence in 2007 and 2008, there are others who were awaiting NoC from respective Indian states as well as nationality confirmation from the Pakistan high commission, Nitesh added.

Six persons were acquitted but were still languishing in jail as they were awaiting NoC and nationality confirmation. One Pakistani prisoner is facing death sentence, 139 were under trial and 79 are undergoing sentence. According to Nitesh of the 107 fishermen, no offence was registered against 46 of them till July 1, 2013.

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