Woman claims her missing soldier son was incarcerated in Pakistani prison, Supreme Court asks Center to file status report

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Supreme Court (file image)

Photo: PTI

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the Center to file a progress report on a case related to the disappearance of defense personnel. The soldier’s mother, Kamla Bhattacharjee, 82, filed a plea in the Supreme Court claiming that her son, Captain Sanjit Bhattacharjee, has been held in a Pakistani prison for 25 years.

Sanjit disappeared in action along the Pakistani border in Gujarat. A panel of Justices DY Chandrachud, Surya Kant and PS Narasimha told the Center’s attorney to file an updated status report on the matter. The court said that they cannot rule a foreign country and therefore the government must inform the court of the action taken in this regard.

The Center, in its recent affidavit filed in court, said 83 defense personnel are missing, including 62 prisoners from the 1965 and 1971 wars with Pakistan. The government told the court it was seeking the release and repatriation of these soldiers from Pakistan through diplomatic and other channels, according to a PTI report.

In his plea, Kamla urged the court to order the government to bring his son back through diplomatic channels. Sanjit’s mother claimed to have obtained information that her son was being held in Lakhpat prison in Pakistan.

Sanjit had earned a commission in the army as an officer in the Gorkha regiment. Sanjit’s family said they received reports that their soldier son had gone on patrol in the Rann of Kutch, along the Pakistani border. He was reportedly arrested by Pakistani authorities during the operation.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the Pakistani government has not acknowledged the presence of Captain Sanjit Bhattacharjee in its custody to date.

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