4 years after illegally crossing into Pak, Hyd techie returns home

  Written by : IANS Updated: Wed, Jun 02, 2021, 01:05 PM

Hyderabad, June  (IANS) A techie, who had illegally crossed over into Pakistan four years ago while trying to go to Switzerland on 'foot', returned home here on Tuesday.

Vaindam Prashanth, who had a tearful reunion with his family, said he had not imagined that he would return home so soon and thanked the government of Telangana and the Centre for seeking his release.

He told mediapersons in the presence of Cyberabad Police Commissioner V. Sajjanar that the Pakistanis were kind to him as they did not book him for spying.

"I did not think that I will be back so soon. Given the kind of relations India and Pakistan have, it is not possible to come out (of jails). There are several Indians there who have spent many years in Pakistan," he said.

Prashanth, who was working with an IT company in Hyderabad, went missing from the Madhapur police station limits under the Cyberabad police commissionerate on April 11, 2017.

His family had lodged a missing complaint at the Madhapur police station on April 29, 2017. Later, the family members got a message that he was detained in Pakistan. The family members immediately brought it to the notice of Cyberabad police and the Central and state governments.

The police commissioner said as a result of continuous follow up by the Telangana government with the Minister of External Affairs and the Ministry of Home Affairs, he was released and handed over to the Indian authorities on May 31, who in turn handed him over to the police station at Attari, Punjab.

Prashanth wanted to go to Switzerland for personal reasons but had no financial support. After a search on Google Maps, he found that he can reach his destination on foot in 61 days for which he has to cross Pakistan.

As part of this plan, he boarded a train to Bikaner, Rajasthan, and from there he crossed the Indo-Pak border illegally by jumping the fence. After walking deep into the Pakistan territory, he was apprehended by Pakistan authorities who booked a case against him for illegal entry.

Sharing his experiences, the techie said Pakistanis are not bad people. "Because I went there and I spent time there, I am telling you that Pakistanis are not bad people. At one time we were all Indians, but we split. People don't have any bad feelings. I don't know about the government," he said.

Prashanth, who served the sentence at the Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore, said that Pakistanis used to share their food with him.

He also said that there are good and bad people on both sides. "If there is one bad person, there will be two good people. It's the same on both sides. There should be love between human beings and it is there both in India and Pakistan," he said.

Prashanth also said that while in jail, be bought a book about software engineering and read it. He is now preparing to apply for a job.