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Madhya Pradesh man held in Pakistan is mentally ill, say police

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He had been missing since 2017 and his family had filed a missing-person report.

The man from Madhya Pradesh who was recently taken into custody by Pakistan for allegedly crossing over without valid documents had been missing since 2017 and was mentally ill, said the police.

Bari Lal from Damoh district is the sixth “mentally ill” person from Madhya Pradesh to be detained by Pakistan in the past six years. Two of them have still not returned home, said a police official, requesting anonymity.

Bari Lal was arrested along Prasanth Maidam from Telangana. As media reports about their arrest began trickling in on Tuesday, police matched his details with a missing-person report filed by the family in March 2017, said Vivek Singh, Damoh Superintendent of Police. “The complaint said he was mentally ill. We recently visited his house at Shispur Patti village. The family confirmed they consulted a doctor for his illness,” said Mr. Singh.

The man had run away on three previous occasions, but was either found by the family or he had returned on his own. “When he didn't return for a month, they filed a complaint,” he said.

Madhya Pradesh police spokesman Ashutosh Chouhan said they were in touch with the Centre to bring back the man. “We’re coordinating with the Centre for his return through diplomatic channels.”

In the past six years, Budhram Marko of Dindori, Anil Kumar of Rewa, Raju Laxman of Khandwa, Arjunwar of Seoni and Sunil Uikey of Balaghat had gone missing and were later found in the custody of Pakistan. “It’s confounding how the six, all mentally ill, found themselves in Pakistani jails. We’re still trying to figure a pattern, if it exists,” said an intelligence official.

Bari Lal and Maidam were arrested last week in the Cholistan desert area of Bahawalpur, Punjab, Pakistani police had earlier confirmed.

A case was registered against them under the Pakistan (Control of Entry) Act on November 14. Police sources had said they would most likely be repatriated after the due process was followed.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 8:08:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/madhya-pradesh-man-held-in-pakistan-is-mentally-ill-say-police/article30041097.ece

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