‘I sacrificed everything for just assurances’
Purshotam Singh, an Indian spy in Pakistan, is miffed over the apathetic attitude of the state as well as the central government for not paying heed to his pleas for financial help
Purshotam Singh, who was Indian spy in Pakistan, is miffed over the apathetic attitude of the state as well as the central government for not paying heed to his pleas for financial help. He had spent around 12 crucial years of his life in the jails of Pakistan and had borne oppression that the Pakistani jail officials executed on him.
Damning the state as well as the Centre, Purshotam Singh said it was comparatively easy to collect secret information about Pakistan troops as compared to availing what he deserved in his own country.
Stating his agony, Purshotam Singh said, he came out of jail with his own efforts. The Indian government did not make any efforts to get him released from the Pakistan jail.
Dwelling in a single- room house with his son in Basant Nagar of the Daba Lohara road, Purshotam Singh, 75, runs a small-time shop in front portion of his house to sustain his living.
His son works with a factory. He had written to the Centre as well as the state, but his pleas fell on deaf ears.
“I have scarified everything, including my family, for my country, but what I got in return were just assurances that were HE SPENT 12 CRUCIAL YEARS OF HIS LIFE IN JAILS OF PAKISTAN AND BORE OPPRESSION THAT JAIL OFFICIALS EXECUTED ON HIM never fulfilled,” said Purshotam.
He used to repair sewing machines to earn bread and butter for his family before he came in contact with Om Parkash Bedi, an Intelligence Bureau officer, in 1974. Bedi encouraged him to serve for the country and he nodded for the motherland.
“At that time I had an eightyear-old son. Ignoring my family, I crossed the border to enter Pakistan through the China Post after availing three months of training from the Intelligence department. IB officer Ajit Singh had accompanied me to Pakistan to collect and send secret information to India,” he added.
The department used to pay him Rs 300 per day that he had spent in Pakistan during the operation. He shuttled thrice between India and Pakistan to gather information. However, for the fourth time when he along with Ajit Singh was returning from Pakistan, the Pakistani troops arrested them near a drain and initiated a case against them.
“The Pakistani officials committed atrocities on us in the jail. They did not allow me to sleep and sit for 10 days. They chained me in a narrow cell, where nobody can stand without bending their knees. They had broken my teeth with pliers,” he said. He was given death sentence that was commuted to 12-year imprisonment. According to Purshotam Singh, the Pakistani troops had confined them in a place at Ara Bazaar. When he tried to escape, the troops shot him in the leg and foiled his bid. Later they were confined in the Lahore jail. He dug a tunnel to escape, but to no avail, as one of the prisoners leaked the information to the jail authorities. The Pakistan administration shifted them to Miyanwali Jail. They again dug a tunnel through which three prisoners, including Ajit Singh, escaped. However, he could not.
Purshotam Singh could not hide his tears while describing his experience in Pakistan jails at his residence at Shimlapuri in Ludhiana on Friday.