New Delhi: United Nation High Commission for Refugee (UNHCR) has awarded refugee status to 64 Pakistan prisoners who have been languishing in Tihar jail for past many years. These 64 Tihar inmates have refused to return back to their motherland, and keeping the fact in mind the status was granted to them. Following which, these prisoners have given their consent to live in US and Canada as refugees.

After undergoing a thorough medical examination and interview, these inmates will get be informed about the language, manners and culture of these countries. For which, they are required to attend special orientation classes in Tihar jail starting from coming Monday.

Notably, these 64 prisoners including 18 women and 12 children are in Tihar jail since 4 years and in order to protest going back to Pakistan they had burnt their passports in 2007. For this, they were arrested from Jantar Mantar under foreign act and sent to Tihar.

As per jail sources, “Although they read namaz but they follow religious leader Gohar Shahi.”

A senior officer in Tihar, on condition of anonymity said, “We tried many times to deport them but fearing the tortures in Pakistan, they do not want to return under any circumstances.”

In December 2010, these prisoners had moved an application about their unwillingness to return back to Pakistan. The court forwarded the application to UNHCR on grounds that it was not possible for India to retain these prisoners.

JPN/Bureau