Jadhav’s family reaches out to MEA

‘No official information whether the man arrested in Balochistan is our family member’

Updated - September 08, 2016 09:10 pm IST

Published - March 28, 2016 12:00 am IST

Silver Oak building at Hiranandani complex, Powai, where the family of former Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav stays. —Photo: Vijay Bate

Silver Oak building at Hiranandani complex, Powai, where the family of former Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav stays. —Photo: Vijay Bate

Two days after Pakistan arrested Mumbai resident Kulbhushan Jadhav in Balochistan, his family told The Hindu on Sunday that it has pinned its hopes on the response from the Ministry of External Affairs, which is expected early this week.

A group of family members and friends, including Jadhav’s father, a retired Assistant Commissioner with the Mumbai Police, had left for New Delhi on Saturday to meet MEA officials. The group was expected to board an evening flight and reach Mumbai late on Sunday night.

“Kubhushan’s father and some others met MEA officials in Delhi on Saturday and asked them about the course of action that the Indian government would pursue. They were told that they would soon be given an official response on the matter,” a family source said over the phone.

The source added that no response is expected before Tuesday, as officials concerned could not be contacted over the weekend. Jadhav’s brother-in-law has stayed back in Delhi to continue the family’s dialogue with MEA officials. “We expect to speak to the MEA on a daily basis, and Kulbhushan’s brother-in-law will relay the updates to the family in Mumbai,” the source said.

“There was no official communication from the Indian government about the arrest, and we only learned about it through media reports,” the source said. “We have not even been officially informed whether the man arrested in Balochistan is indeed our family member or someone else. This is one of the points that we have raised with the MEA. We want to know his identity first.”

Jadhav was allegedly in possession of an Indian passport in the name of Mubarak Hussein Patel at the time of his arrest. The date of birth on the passport is the same as Kulbhushan’s, and the picture, too, bears resemblance to him. The passport shows “Mubarak Patel’s” town as Sangli. However, Sangli Police officials said they had not yet been contacted by any government agency over the issue.

Jadhav’s family members said that he had quit the Indian Navy and was running a small cargo transport business, ferrying cargo between two ports in Iran. He had an Iranian visa valid up to June this year. Jadhav comes from a government background, with a father and an uncle in the Mumbai Police, and another uncle working in the Mantralaya. There is confusion over his travel, with his family claiming that he had been out of touch for around a month, and local residents saying that he was seen in the area around a week ago.

Officials at Powai Police Station, over the last two days, have made inquiries with Jadhav’s family members, neighbours and people in the area, gathering as much information about Jadhav, his background, and his antecedents. The police are now preparing a report to be sent to the offices of the Commissioner of Police, Mumbai and the Director General of Police, Maharashtra, sources told The Hindu on Sunday.

He allegedly held

an Indian passport

in name of Mubarak Hussein Patel at

the time of arrest

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