Freed from Pak jail, Magar returns homeAfter spending 29 months in Malir and Landhi district jail in Karachi, Pakistan, Min Bahadur Sartunge Magar landed home on Thursday.
The 26-year-old from Badagaun, Gulmi, had been imprisoned after the Indian vessel he worked as a deckhand for was caught fishing across the maritime borders in Pakistan. The 12 Indians he was arrested with were repatriated around a year ago.
“My colleagues told me to tell the Pakistani authorities that I was Indian. They thought saying so would shorten my stay in jail, but I didn’t have any documents to prove that I was Indian, or Nepali later,” said Magar after arriving at the Tribhuvan International Airport.
Magar owes his release to Haider Ali Haider, general secretary of the Saiban International Welfare Organisation, which fights to provide justice to poor prisoners in Pakistan. Haider not only put him in touch with the Nepali Embassy in Pakistan but his organisation also bore Magar’s travel expenses to Nepal.
“Our embassy was too poor to buy Magar’s tickets home. We had to approach the charity for financial help,” said Nepali Ambassador to Pakistan Bharat Raj Paudyal.
Two men from Prabasi Nepali Coordination Committee, an organisation that shelters rescued Nepalis like Magar, were at the airport to pick Magar up. Later, the organisation provided him Rs 7,000 for his travel to Gulmi on Friday. Magar has not been in touch with his family since his incarceration on September 19, 2012. Back home, he said he had a wife and two sons waiting. Magar used to work in Gujarat before he decided to be part of a fishing boat for better pay. Magar had followed his brother to India when he was only 18 and waited tables at a hotel for a few years. He had only been a fisherman for two months when the Pakistani marines arrested him.
“The ordeal I went through has shaken me,” said Magar.