Hamid Ansari reaches India after 6 years in Pakistan jail; Indian national was imprisoned on espionage charges

Indian national Hamid Nehal Ansari, who was detained and imprisoned in Pakistan for six years on espionage charges, crossed the Attari-Wagah border to India after his release from a jail in Peshawar earlier on Tuesday.

The 33-year-old from Mumbai was sentenced to three years' in prison in 2015 on charges of being an "Indian spy". A military court sentenced Ansari for allegedly possessing a fake Pakistani identity card.

The engineer and business professional was lodged in Peshawar Central Jail after his sentencing on 15 December, 2015. His three-year jail term ended on Saturday, but he was unable to leave for India as the Pakistan government had not kept his legal documents ready for deportation.

Pakistan-India Peoples Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD) general secretary Jatin Desai told IANS, "Yes it's really great news. Ansari has been released from jail and will be handed over to India at the Wagah Border later on Tuesday."

Ansari's family members, including father Nehal and mother Fauzia, a large number of India-Pakistan friendship activists, officials and political personalities were at the border to welcome him.

 Hamid Ansari reaches India after 6 years in Pakistan jail; Indian national was imprisoned on espionage charges

Hamid Nehal Ansari, who was arrested eight years back in Pakistan, has returned to India after completing his three-year prison sentence. Image credit: Twitter/@ANI

Mumbai Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) activist and former legislator Krishna Hegde, who helped the family in the past few years, said they went to the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi to complete the formalities and secure his repatriation.

Spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs Raveesh Kumar said it was "a matter of great relief, especially for the family members that six years of incarceration of the Indian civilian in Pakistan jail is coming to an end".

Pakistan had alleged that Ansari, 33, an engineer, was an "Indian spy" who illegally entered the country, and accused him of involvement in anti-State crimes, forging documents, and jailed him. For the Ansari family, it was an ordeal since November 2012 when he left the country for Kabul for employment and then was reported "missing".

He reportedly became friendly with a Pakistan girl on social media and reached Kohat in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to save her from a forced marriage. On 12 November, 2012, Ansari crossed over from Afghanistan border in Jalalabad to Peshawar in Pakistan where he was nabbed by Pakistan intelligence. Later, a military court sentenced him to three years in jail.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Dec 19, 2018 08:10:00 IST