Kulbhushan Jadhav: the story so far

Friends rally support for Kulbhushan Jadhav

Five friends of Kulbhushan Jadhav, who is on death row for alleged espionage in Pakistan, organised a motorbike rally here in his support on the eve of the visit of his mother and wife to meet him in Islamabad.

Nearly 100 riders took part in Sunday’s rally, holding “Justice for Kulbhushan” placards. The two-wheelers covered the entire N.M. Joshi Marg.

“We conducted the bike rally to express solidarity with Jadhav’s mother and wife. All his friends want to show their support to him and his entire family during this predicament so that they don’t feel that they are alone in this fight,” said Tulsidas Pawar, Mr. Jadhav’s childhood friend and resident of Prithvi Nandan Society at Lower Parel, where the former naval officer grew up.

“We have been friends since childhood and live in the same locality ever since we were in school. He was born here and till 2000, he used to live on the first floor of the police quarters right opposite the Prithvi Nandan Society,” he said.

Mr. Pawar said Mr. Jadhav was a student of Ruia College. When he was in Class XI, he filled up the form for entry to the National Defence Academy and after he was selected, his family and friends dropped him at the Pune institution.

Watch: Kulbhushan Jadhav thanks Pakistan govt for allowing him to meet his family

Shocked neighbourhood

“During the holidays, he used to visit us. Later, after his marriage in 2000, his family shifted to Powai, Hiranandani, and the visits became less frequent. On March 3, 2017, as we got to know that he had been captured from Balochistan and was accused of espionage, we were shocked. We all did not even know when he retired from his position and how he got arrested,” Mr. Pawar said.

‘He was on business trip’

Mr. Pawar said that as students, they always spoke about starting a business of their own after retirement.

They later found out that he had gone for the purpose of business and was arrested in Iran. Iran was an important point of business for him and he had been dealing in scrap. Even after he was arrested, the Pakistan government did not have any evidence against him, he said.

After eight days, they got the news that he would be sentenced to death.

The family and his friends are fighting to get him back.

Arvind Singh, an engineer, another childhood friend of Mr. Jadhav, said: “In our [housing] society, he used to live right opposite our building at the police quarters. We used to play together whenever we had the chance to. We got to know through the media on March 3, 2017 and at that time we decided to spread the message through various initiatives such as banners that our friend is innocent and could never do anything like this. After that we started online and offline campaigns. They comprised candle marches, and signing of petitions.”

Buoyed by ICJ verdict

“We recently conducted a bike rally because there were still people in this area who did not know much about the arrest. Now the entire area knows about what we are fighting for. We are really grateful for the way the International Court of Justice has intervened in this matter and given a verdict in our favour. Now our hopes have gone up,” Mr. Singh said.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2021 9:44:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/friends-rally-support-for-jadhav/article22277548.ece

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