Pakistani boy who slipped into India in sleep to go home

Amritsar (Punjab), Feb 26 (IANS) A 13-year-old Pakistani boy, who was caught by the police at Attari railway station here Jan 11 for illegally entering India, was ordered to be released by the Juvenile Justice Board here Friday.

Mohammad Ateeq’s release and repatriation to Pakistan was ordered by members of the board, including principal magistrate Ajaib Singh and Mamta Arora.

Ateeq, a Class 7 student of a government school in Lahore, had escaped from his home Jan 10 after he had a quarrel with his father Malik Iftikhar over kite flying.

He slept in a train bogey at the Lahore railway station and the bogey was connected to the Samjautha Express train, which brought Ateeq to India the next day.

‘Ateeq was kept in a juvenile home in Hoshiarpur and today (Friday) we brought him here, especially to attend the hearing of the juvenile board,’ a police official said.

Many Indian and Pakistani human rights activists had raised their voice, demanding Ateeq’s release.

Ansar Burney, Pakistan’s former federal minister of human rights, had also moved a public suit in the Punjab and Haryana High Court in Chandigarh through senior advocate and human rights activist Ranjan Lakhanpal, demanding the boy’s immediate release.

‘I thanked the magistrate and such decisions will be helpful in bringing love and peace between the two neighbouring countries. I am very happy that now this innocent boy will reach his home safely,’ Burney said in a statement issued here.

Noted Pakistani human rights activist and advocate Asma Jahangir had also come to meet Ateeq here.

‘I had contacted Ateeq’s father over phone after he illegally landed in Amritsar. He was in a juvenile home at Hoshiarpur since Jan 13,’ said D.P. Sharma, a lawyer who pursued Ateeq’s case.

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