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Friday, 15 June 2012

Pakistan frees 58 yr old border strayer with mental health condition after nearly 2 years imprisonment!

Mr Bhanudas Vitthale Karale  Released by the Pakistani Authorities this morning!

Mr Karale aged 58 years who has a history of suffering from mental health problems left his family home in Ahmednagar in Maharashtra in India sometime in 2008. I understand from Mr Karale's family that he would often leave his family home for periods of time without an explanation.

It is believed (but not confirmed) that Mr Karale was was arrested on the 28th of August 2010 by the Pakistani authorities for allegedly illegally entering Pakistan. There is no evidence confirming that Mr Karale was charged or indeed tried in a court of law for alledgedly entering Pakistan illegally.

Following his arrest Mr Karale has been detained in Kot Lakphat Prison, Lahore in Pakistan. The Pakistani authorities failed to notify the Indian authorities that they had arrested and detained an Indian national. Further, Mr Karale was denied the benefit of Consular Services and legal advice.

Mr Karale's family unaware that Mr Karel was in
I received a recording of an interview with Mr Gulab Singh an Indian national who was released by the Pakistani authorities in August 2011.

Mr Gulab Singh was interviewed by Mr Neeraj Sharma, who is a senior journalist with the ‘Punjab Kesari’ immediately after Mr Gulab Singh crossed the Wagha Border into India following his release.

Mr Gulab Singh produced two letters; one from Mr Bhanudas Vitthale Karale and the other from Mr Satinder Paul Singh both letters were pleading for help to secure their respective release. Mr Neeraj Sharma forwarded both of the letters and the video recording of Mr Gulab Singh’s interview to me.

Mr Satinder Paul Singh’s letter did not contain his family’s address in India whereas Mr Bhanudas Vitthale Karale did.

Jas Uppal of Free Sarabjit Singh wrote to Mr Bhanudas Vitthale Karale’s family and urged them to forward documents verifying Mr Karale’s identity and advised them to contact various Indian authorities to alert them to the fact that Mr Karale was unlawfully detained in Kot Lakphat Prison, Lahore Pakistan. I also advised them to contact Mr Neeraj Sharma in India.

Neeraj Sharma also wrote to Mr Karale’s family.

Mr Karale’s nephew, Nitin Karale contacted me and Mr Neeraj Sharma. Nitin confirmed that his family were unaware that Mr Karale was in a Pakistani prison. Mr Karale’s family reported him to the authorities as a missing person and were trying to ascertain his whereabouts.

Nitin Karale immediately arranged to forward the documents verifying Mr Karale’s identity to me. These were e-mailed to the Indian Embassy in Islamabad Pakistan as well as the Indian authorities.
Jas Uppal received confirmation from the Indian authorities that now that they are in receipt documents verifying the respective identities of Mr Bhanudas Vitthale Karale and Mr Satinder Paul Singh, they were confident that both men will be released shortly.

Mrs Uppal mentioned these cases to Mr Sheikh. She commented;  "He asked me to forward the evidence including copies of the identity verification documents which I did. Mr Sheikh issued a petition in the Lahore High Court annexing and referring to the evidence that I had provided together with the copy identity verification documents in or around October 2011 seeking an Order for these two prisoners to be released".

On the 3rd of November 2011, the High Court of Lahore Ordered Mr Bhanudas Vitthale Karale and for Satinder Paul Singh to be released and in addition Ordered all Indian prisoners who had served their respective sentences to be released upon production of documents verifying their respective identities. It is believed that 30 Indian prisoners have served their respective sentences and are currently waiting to be released. That is a total of 32 prisoners which includes both Mr Bhanudas Vitthale Karale and Mr Satinder Paul Singh.

Mr Satinder Paul Singh was released on Sunday 8th of January 2012. Mr Bhanudas Vitthale Karale  was released this morning (Friday 15th of June 2012) and the remaining 30 Indian prisoners ordered to be released by the Lahore High Court are yet to be released.
Jas Uppal a writer on the BPCA blog  said:

I am absolutely delighted to learn of Mr Bhanudas Vitthale Karale's release. It was long overdue.

It is tragic that Mr. Karale was deprived of his liberty and unlawfully detained by the Pakistani authorities without trial and without access to Consular services. Further, I understand that Mr Karale was denied the opportunity to take legal advice during his detention.

I hope that Mr Karale is in good health and is united with his family without further delay.

My thoughts are with the families of Mr Bhavesh Parmar, Mr Sarabjit Singh, Mr Kirpal Singh, Mr Surjit Singh (aka "Makhan" Singh), Captain Sanjit Battacharjee, RFN Gopal Dass, Vakar Ahmed, Mr Kuldip Singh all of whom continue to be unlawfully detained in Pakistan. I hope that they too will be released soon.


  1. Well Done Jas this poor man suffered enough.

  2. More should be done to free others in a similar fix. Such illegal detention in intolerant and anxious states, is inevitably a harrowing experience.