Surjeet given rousing welcome in Punjab’s Phidde villageJune 29th, 2012 - 12:04 am ICT by IANS
Ferozepur (Punjab), June 28 (IANS) Hundreds gathered in Phidde village of Punjab’s Ferozepur district to give a rousing welcome to Surjeet Singh, who returned home after more than 30 years of incarceration in Pakistan. Relatives distributed sweets and burst crackers to mark his return.
Surjeet, 69, was given a tumultuous and teary-eyed welcome as a near stampede-like situation was witnessed when hundreds of residents of the village and nearby areas gathered in the village, 35 km from Ferozepur town (260 km from Chandigarh).
Family members, relatives and friends assembled at the house of Kulwinder Singh, Surjeet’s son, to celebrate his home-coming and gave him a hero’s welcome. They distributed sweets and burst fire crackers.
Surjeet’s wife, Harbans Kaur, who could not meet him at Attari border checkpost where he crossed over from Pakistan into India, owing to the chaos on his arrival, met him in the village.
“I am very happy to be back with the family and meet my children,” Surjeet said after returning home after over three decades in Pakistani jails.
Held in Pakistan on spying charges in the early 1980s, Surjeet was released from Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail early Thursday and made the road journey to Wagah, on the Pakistan side of the border, before entering India.
Surjeet looked weary after the hectic day of his release from Lahore. Following the grand welcome at Attari border checkpost, he offered prayers at Harmandar Sahib, the holiest of Sikh shrines popularly known as the Golden Temple, in Amritsar before arriving in his village.
As the car carrying Surjeet neared the village, he was virtually lifted by villagers and taken on an open vehicle through the village to his house.
After reaching the Indian soil, Surjeet, a former trooper, had promptly admitted that he had indeed been sent to spy for India. He was arrested inside Pakistan 1982 on charges of spying and sentenced to death. His death penalty was later commuted.
He said he would rest in the village and meet people in the next 2-3 days before approaching the government for his next course of action.
- Surjeet is home, after 30 years in Pakistan prison (Lead) - Jun 28, 2012
- Surjeet home after 30 years, says he was a spy (Roundup) - Jun 28, 2012
- Surjeet met by children, to meet wife later - Jun 28, 2012
- Surjeet freed, to come home via Wagah (Lead, Changing dateline) - Jun 28, 2012
- The wait ends: Surjeet Singh's family rejoices - Jun 27, 2012
- Sarabjit and Surjeet: Shock in one home, joy in another (Second Lead) - Jun 27, 2012
- For Surjeet Singh, life unfolds a guessing game - Jul 01, 2012
- In melee, wife unable to meet Surjeet (Lead, superseding earlier story) - Jun 28, 2012
- Surjeet Singh gets Rs.5 lakh from Punjab government - Jul 19, 2012
- Jubilation to despair for Sarabjit's family - Jun 27, 2012
- Surjeet appeals for release of prisoners on both sides - Jun 28, 2012
- Surjeet freed but reaches Wagah in handcuffs (Lead, Changing dateline) - Jun 28, 2012
- Villagers welcome Gopal Dass with garlands, sweets - Apr 07, 2011
- We don't spy on neighbours, asserts India (Lead) - Jun 29, 2012
- We don't spy on neighbours, asserts India - Jun 29, 2012
Tags: burst, death penalty, ferozepur, fire crackers, golden temple in amritsar, grand welcome, incarceration, indian soil, jails, kaur, kot lakhpat, nearby areas, pakistan side, punjab, returning home, road journey, rousing welcome, sikh shrines, stampede, three decades