Miracles happen! Gajanand Sharma returns to India after 36 years in Pakistan jail; wife ‘kept hope alive’

Tags: , , , , ,

Diwali has arrived early for the Sharma family in Jaipur as a moist-eyed Makhni Devi welcomes her husband Gajanand Sharma after 36 years. Emotions poured in and resembled a Bollywood tear-jerker. His family assumed that Sharma, who was languishing in a Pakistan prison for almost four decades, was dead. When Makhni Devi thought that she has lost her soulmate, she got a special gift on the occasion of Hariyali Teej, which was celebrated yesterday. Hariyali Teej commemorates the union of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Yes, he is my husband, but he has become very weak and lean, she says while awaiting her husband and sitting before a small place of worship in her house in a narrow lane of Brahmpuri area in Jaipur. Who is Gajanand Sharma and what happened to him? Gajanand, now 68, went missing in 1982 and was part of the 30 Indian prisoners released yesterday by Pakistan as a goodwill gesture ahead of the countrys Independence Day on August 14. My husband is in a bad state just because of Pakistan and my heart is cursing Pakistan for keeping him away from me and making his so weak. He was in good health before he went missing, Makhni Devi was quoted as saying PTI. Pakistan had released 29 prisoners, including Sharma, as a goodwill gesture ahead of its Independence Day. Since 1982, Sharmas family kept waiting and had no clue of his whereabouts. His son Muksesh said that they had assumed he was dead. However, on May 7, the family was informed that he was lodged in a Pakistan jail in Lahore. . On May 9, we completed some formalities and it was officially confirmed (to the agencies) that he is an Indian citizen, Jaipur MP Ramcharan Bohra had given details of the plight of Sharma. Sharma had been sentenced to two months incarceration, but due to lack of consular access, he continued to remain in jail. It was only when in May this year, following an inquiry via the External Affairs Ministry, that Jaipur police contacted his family and submitted documents attesting his identity that he was released. Celebration time Makhni Devi said she is eager to meet her husband and is waiting for the moment when he will finally be home. I will definitely ask him how he reached Pakistan and how he spent all these years, but I will not complain. I have had a tough time while he was gone and waited for him all these years. I kept my hope alive, she said. Gajanands younger son Mukesh said it was a dream come true for the family. I cannot express my feelings in words. This is a dream which turned into reality. We will decorate our house and will organise a feast for our family, relatives and friends to celebrate my fathers arrival after 36 years.