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HomeNewsNotice to govt over ‘soldier in Pak prison since 1965 war’

Notice to govt over ‘soldier in Pak prison since 1965 war’

BHUBANESWAR: Fifty-nine years since he went missing after the India-Pakistan war and 21 years after his photograph surfaced in a newspaper advertisement, the NHRC has sent fresh notice to the ministry of home affairs (MHA) and ministry of external affairs (MEA) to submit action taken reports within four weeks about Indian Army jawan Ananda Patri, said to be in a Pakistan prison since 1965.

Friday’s directive comes following a fresh petition submitted by rights activist and lawyer Radhakanta Tripathy on the basis of a letter sent to the secretary of Zilla Sainik Board, Balasore, by Dhamanagar police station on February 19.

Ananda, a native of Gandhighat Sasan under Dhusuri block of Bhadrak district, was a sepoy in the Corps of Engineers Personnel. He was part of the 1962 and 1965 wars against China and Pakistan.

Ananda did not come back home after the 1965 war. Family members thought he had died in the war till his son Bidyadhar came across his father’s photograph in a newspaper advertisement in 2003 regarding an Indian prisoner of war languishing in Kot Lakhpat Central Jail, Lahore, Pakistan.

Family members came to know Ananda had lost his memory and had been referring to himself as Nasim Gopal. After all efforts to get him back failed, the NHRC was approached in 2021 through Radhakanta.

Acting on the petition, the NHRC had directed the MEA to take appropriate action in this matter. However, the ministry stated in its reply that it is the responsibility of the defence ministry as Ananda was with the Indian Army. The case was closed on August 25 last year but has been opened again following Radhakanta’s fresh plea.

If alive, Ananda would be 95-year-old now. Family members stay in Kalyani village under Dhamanagar block of Bhadrak district and are still waiting for Ananda’s return.