Anand Patri jas been awarded death certificate in Pakistan. (Reprsentational image)
Son of an Army jawan who went missing after the India-Pakistan war in 1965 and was reported to be lodged in Lahore prison has urged the Centre to intervene and ensure the release of his father Anand Patri from Pakistan jail.
Anand Patri's son, Bidyadhar Patri who is 65 and lives in Odisha has appealed to President Droupadi Murmu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to get his death certificate if his father has died in the Pakistani jail.
"Anand Patri (my father) was serving as a sepoy in the Bengal Defence Regiment during the Indo-Pakistan war of 1965 when he went missing. My family staying in the Dhamnagar block of Odisha's Bhadrak district. If he (father) died in prison, we need a death certificate from Pakistan authorities. I also appeal to President of India Droupadi Murmu and PM Narendra Modi to get justice for him," he said while speaking to ANI.
He said that he came to know about his father in Pakistan's prison through a publication in 2003 and described his struggle to look for his missing father. He said that he knocked on every door for help, however, only failed to gain any support.
"He did not return after the 1965 war. A publication in 2003 said that my father is locked in Lahore jail in Pakistan. Since ever I came to know that my father is alive, I knocked on every door for help but didn't get any. If my father had returned 20 years ago, our family would have spent some time with him. I urge the government of India to bring him back, and if he is dead, then bring a death certificate from the Pakistani authorities. I urge the President who is also from Odisha to take cognizance," he said.
Bidyadhar said that the Pakistani authorities were supposed to release him in 2007, however, they took back my father as he was an Indian army prisoner and was not ready to release as an army man.
"Pakistani authorities had made a condition to release Anand Patri as a civilian but Indian authorities refused to accept," he said.
"I don't know if my father is alive or passed away after 20 years from 2003. I want my father's recognition as a freedom fighter of India," the son added.
Uttam Roy, International Human Rights Activist, said that Anand Patri was recruited into the Army from Kolkata and also fought in the 1962 India-China war.
"He was recruited from Kolkata into the Indian Army. He also participated in the 1962 India-China war. He fought in the Indo-Pak war in 1965. He is missing since 1965. We had met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, also met Pranab Mukherjee earlier. If he is alive, he would be nearly 88 years old. He has been in jail for nearly 58 years, if he is alive. The government of India and Odisha should ensure his return and also give financial assistance to his family. If he has died, the Pakistani authorities should give us his death certificate," Roy said.
He called for assigning him with the status of 'martyr' to the jawan, if he has passed away.
"Bidyadhar Patri has given a letter to the President recently. If he has died, we would want him to be declared a martyr," Roy said.