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Is Kulbhushan another Sarabjit in making?

The manner in which media is creating hype about Kulbhushan Jadhav’s news, there is a possibility that his case too may meet with the same fate like Sarabjit Singh. Kulbhushan’s news has been grabbing headlines and people are discussing about it. Even those who are unaware about the true facts about Jadhav’s case too are posting irrelevant comments about him on social media which is unjustified. Sarabjit Singh’s news too was covered prominently by media and even a film was made on his life. His movie generated too much curiosity among people as they had thronged theatres to know more about his life. Sarabjit Singh was arrested in August 1990 while crossing the international border in an inebriated state. While his hanging was stayed indefinitely in April 2009, he died four years later after an assault by prisoners in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail. After his imprisonment, Jadhav met his family for the first time. The former Indian Navy officer met his wife and their meeting lasted for 30 minutes. A military court had sentenced Jadhav to death in April on charges of espionage and terrorism. Subsequently, India approached the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in May. Jadhav’s execution was stopped by the ICJ pending its verdict. Thus, like Sarabjit will Jadhav too become a victim of India-Pakistan politics? Jadhav was arrested in 2012 by Pakistani forces in the Kohat region, near the Afghanistan border, for crossing over illegally in search of a Pakistani woman he had befriended over social media.

Jatin Desai, senior journalist and General Secretary of PakistanIndia Peoples’ Forum for Peace and Democracy, “Whenever media reports about such cases prisoners get protection. I am talking about media and not social media. Since people get information about the prisoner hence he gets adequate protection. However, media trial carried out against such person is not right. The trial of the convicted person must be heard in open court.”

Retd Brigadier Sudhir Sawant said, “According to Indian citizens Kulbhushan is innocent but Pakistan is considering him as a criminal. False charges have been filed against Kulbhushan by Pakistan. They should acquit him of all charges. It is not right to treat a former Indian Navy officer in this manner. This issue might create tension between India and Pakistan. Both countries should peacefully resolve every issue. The Indian government can bring Kulbhushan back. Since this is a sensitive matter media trial will occur.”

Prakash Reddy, CPI activist said, “Even though Kulbhushan Jadhav was caught from Iran but on record he was shown as being arrested from Pakistan. Extremist organisation from Pakistan had kidnapped Jadhav and took him to Iran and arrested him from there. His open trial should be held in the International Court of Justice. The military court has awarded death sentence to him. However ICJ has halted Jadhav’s execution.”

Advocate B B Tiwari said, “There is a possibility that Jadhav might be released due to pressure. Pakistan can only take action against Jadhav after receiving court order. The Indian government had not approached international court in Sarabjit’s case hence he was prosecuted. If the verdict comes in India’s favour then Pakistan can’t prosecute Jadhav. By arresting Indian prisoners Pakistan is imposing pressure on India to talk. Since India has produced strong evidence before ICJ they might deliver verdict in our favour.”

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