Lahore/Attari: Every Indian cherishes the fact that he is born in India. Something similar was witnessed when an Indian national, who was dubbed to be a spy by the Pakistan, returned home after 27 years.

Touching the soil of the country, Gopal Das on Thursday came home to an emotional welcome by his elder brother and sister who had last seen him as a young man.

52-year-old Das was set free after Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari remitted his sentence on humanitarian grounds following an appeal by the Indian Supreme Court.    

Das crossed over to the Indian side of the border from Pakistan at the Joint Check Post here after being freed by the authorities in the neighbouring country.

As soon as he entered India, he bowed his head on the soil and kissed it as tears welled up in his eyes. Das' family members, including his brother Anand Vir, two sisters and niece Navjot besides, a dozen people from Bhaini Mian Khan village of Gurdaspur district of Punjab were here to receive him.

Lamenting that he had lost the "golden period of youth behind the bars in Pakistan, he asked the Indian government why it was sitting silent for the last 27 years.

"I have a grudge against the Indian leadership who has never bothered about Indian prisoners rotting in prisons in Pakistan for the last many years.

"32 Indian nationals, who have completed their jail term, are still languishing in dark due to the lack of initiative on the part of the Indian Government," he claimed.

Thanking the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan for releasing him, Das said he was also thankful to the Supreme Court of India for his release but said the role of Indian leadership was "disgusting".

He claimed that seven such Indian prisoners who had already completed their sentence died due to ill health. Moreover, nearly one dozen Indian nationals have almost lost their senses.

Das had crossed over to Pakistan inadvertently in 1984 and was arrested by Pakistani Rangers on charges of spying. He was sentenced to life imprisonment and was set to be released by the end of this year.

Struggling hard to control his tears, Das' elder brother Anand Vir, said that all his prayers were answered.

(Agencies)