The Karnataka High Court has yesterday asked Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to inform within four weeks about the measures taken to secure the release of a person from Kodagu, who has been languishing in Lahore Central Prison in Pakistan since several years.
Justice A.S. Bopanna passed the interim order on a petition filed last year by P.M. Kushalappa and his wife P.K. Meenakshi, residents of Kaikeri village in Gonikoppal of Kodagu district. The petitioners said that their son, Yashwanth, who was undergoing training as part of a diploma course in Mysuru, went missing on November 29, 2006 and a complaint was lodged at the K.R. Police Station. However, the police filed a ‘B Report’ to the local Court after a year stating that they could not find their son.
Kushalappa and Meenakshi told the High Court that they have been appealing to the State Government and Centre for the last one year.
“Our son Yashwanth went missing from Mysuru eight years ago. All attempts to trace him went in vain. When Pakistan released a list of Indians lodged in the Pakistan jail last year, there was the name of a Ramesh in the list. Ramesh resembles Yashwanth. He is our son. The government should make an effort to get him released,” appealed the petitioners.
The petitioner-couple complained that the Union Government has not taken any action to bring their son back despite submitting representations to the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of External Affairs.
ABOUT THE CASE
Yashwanth had enrolled for a diploma course in Electronics and Communication at Kaveri Polytechnic in Gonikoppal in 2004. However, due to shortage of attendance in the fourth semester, he could not appear for the exams. Later, he enrolled for a course at Janashikshana Samsthana in Mysuru in 2006. After completing the course in December 2006, he called his parents and asked for Rs. 1,000 to go to Bengaluru in search of employment. The couple had given him money in Mysuru, after which there was no trace of him.
In 2014, the Mysuru Police received a photo from the Centre indicating that a person, who identified himself as Ramesh, had completed his jail term after conviction under the Pakistan Foreigners Act. The Pak Government had sent the lists along with photographs to the Indian Government to confirm the nationality. Pakistan had said that Ramesh was arrested in Lahore on Dec. 6, 2013. However, he did not possess any arms.
Then, Star of Mysore and its sister publication Mysooru Mithra published the photograph and report on July 11, 2014 about one Ramesh of Maddur being lodged in a Pakistan jail.
Seeing the report, Kushalappa and Meenakshi claimed that it was not Ramesh but their son Yashwanth. They contacted the Police when it was discovered that all details made available matched with that of their son, except for the name. Later, they contacted Virajpet MLA K.G. Bopaiah and submitted all records confirming that the Indian youth lodged in Pakistan Jail was indeed their son Yashwanth.
When Star of Mysore contacted MLA K.G. Bopaiah for his reaction on the issue this morning, he was in the Assembly session and could not react.