Jammu: A former spy, who spent 10 years in Pakistani jails, says he is struggling for a livelihood after running from pillar to post for past 24 years for his rehabilitation.
   
Jammu resident 59-year old Vinood Sawhney, who is undergoing treatment at Government Medical College (GMC) hospital here after forcible eviction by police from his dharna site here, accuses authorities of apathy to people like him.
   
Sawhney, who is also a president of Jammu Ex-Sleuths Association, is also angry at authorities offering him only a vendor's license after years of persistent pleas and protests.
   
"This is the award I have got for my service. How can I accept this offer of rehabilitation?" says Sawhney, who was repatriated in 1988.
   
He claims he had approached Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary on November 24, 2008 who had strongly recommended the case to the Commissioner, Jammu Municipal Corporation for his rehabilitation -- a plot of land settlement and a shop for earning livelihood.
   
"Since then I was running from pillar to post but nobody paid heed to my demands and I was forced to sit on hunger strike," he says.
   
Last week, he was informed that the JMC had no powers to allot him a shop and he can only be given a vendor's license.
   
Sawhney, who has been twice forcibly evicted from dharna site at Press club after deterioration in his health conditions, says his two sons are studying with the support of his brothers who run a business.
   
He says he was a cab driver when he was recruited as a spy. "I was lodged in Sialkot jail and later put in Multan Central jail."
   
After efforts of human rights organisations, he was released along with 109 prisoners from Pakistani.
   
"Many spies are still languishing in Pakistani jails," he said. "The government should offer complete rehabilitation of all such persons who were repatriated from Pakistani jails", he adds. He says the Centre must press Pakistan authorities to release all Indians languishing in jails there.

(Agencies)


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