After 27 years of incarceration, Gopal Das was released from a Pakistan prison in April 2011. Now he has moved the Delhi High Court, demanding compensation from the government of India. He said he was arrested in Pakistan in July 1984, while working for the Research and Analysis Wing.
He was arrested by the Pakistan border security and was tried by the military court in Sialkot cantonment. He was sentenced to life on June 30, 1986, under Pakistan’s Official Secrets Act. From Sialkot jail, he was transferred to Central Jail Mianwali. “I was in Multan jail for four years, in Mianwali for 17 years and in Kot Lakhpat jail for the last 3 years.”
Das completed his sentence in 2005, and his brother Anand Vir petitioned various ministries and courts for his release. Anand said the Pakistan government was ready to release Das in August 2007, but inaction from the Indian government prolonged his stay by four more years. Anand later moved the Supreme Court, which requested Pakistan to release Das, and he was let free during the ICC World Cup as a goodwill gesture.
Das’s petition says that the government of India did nothing for his release nor supported his family despite his working for the RAW. “People like me have sacrificed their entire youth and life for the nation,” he said. “It is because of sacrifices like these that the country is enjoying freedom. If the country treats us like this, in future no one will go on espionage missions.”
Das’s lawyer Arvind Sharma said, “The government of India has filed an affidavit in court saying that there are no records to prove that Das was working for the RAW.” Now Das is preparing an affidavit explaining his recruitment and training. “If court orders the government to compensate and rehabilitate Das, it will be a slap on the face of the government,” said Sharma.
-via The Week