Prisoner repatriation: Include forgotten POWs​

Prisoner repatriation: Include forgotten POWs​

It is good news that India and Pakistan plan to repatriate prisoners from each other’s countries. Those being considered for this leniency are civilians — minors, women, seniors over 70 years of age, and the mentally infirm.

By N. N. Bhatia 

By N. N. Bhatia

Both countries have  also agreed to send a team of doctors to evaluate the mental condition of the detainees.

On humanitarian grounds I appeal to both countries to release all prisoners above 70 years of age, including those who are not civilians. These prisoners, if alive, are all at the end of their lives. It is high time to get them back home to spend their remaining  years with their near and dear ones. Let us remember that India returned 96,000 Pakistani prisoners of war (POWs) taken during the 1971 Bangladesh liberation war.

I sincerely believe that the time is right for three crucial points raised below:

1. It is high time to drop the word ‘civilians’ for the over-70 age group of prisoners and request the return of the missing defence personnel from either side.

2.It is possible that the elderly, especially the mentally infirm, are not able to be identified or may be reluctant to be identified for whatsoever reasons. It would, therefore make all the sense in the world for the team of doctors going across from  India to Pakistan and vice versa, to collect DNA of all the detainees and match them with their kith and kin in the home country.

3. This seems like the perfect moment to request both governments to return the remains of all the detainees who may have died in prisons across the border to the concerned families to enable them to obtain closure, perform their loved ones’ last rites  with dignity, and pursue pensionary benefits and property issues.

These magnanimous gestures will contribute to peaceful relations and goodwill between both countries.

Shared here are lists of the POWs believed to be held on either side, including the ‘Forgotten 54’ of India and the Pakistani POWs in India.

Pakistani POWs believed to be held in India

Note: No Pakistani source has sent me any list of alleged Pakistani POWs in India, despite repeated requests. This is an unverified list, lacking personal numbers, units, dates, circumstances and places of capture.

  1. Major Ilamuddin Arif Jan
    2. Capt. Muhammad Jurjees Nagi
    3. Lieutenant Kaleem Muhammad
    4. Second. Lt. Muhammad Akhtar
    5. Hawaldar Zakir Rehman
    6. Hawaldar Muzaffar Ahmad
    7. Lance Hawaldar Bagh Hussain8. Lance Naik Abdul Ghani
    9. Lance Naik Muhammad Ismail
    10. Lance Naik Abdul Rehman
    11. Gunner Muhammad Afzal
    12. OCU Muhammad Aslam
    13. OCU Muhammad Khaliq Khan
    14. OCU Aitbar Khan
    15. Sapper Abdul Khaliq
    16. Sepoy Abdul
    17. Sepoy Muhammad Ayub
    18. Yaar Gul

Indian POWs believed to be held in Pakistan Army

Name Service No. Unit
1 Major S.P.S. Waraich IC-12712 15 Punjab
2 Major Kanwaljit Singh Sandhu IC-14590 15 Punjab
3 2/Lt Sudhir Mohan Sabharwal SS-23957 87 Lt Regiment
4 Capt Ravinder Kaura SS-20095 39 Med Regiment
5 Capt Giri Raj Singh IC-23283 5 Assam
6 Capt Om Prakash Dalal SS-22536 Grenadiers
7 Maj AK Ghosh IC-18790 15 Rajput
8 Maj AK Suri SS-19807 5 Assam
9 Capt Kalyan Singh Rathod IC-28148 5 Assam
10 Major Jaskiran Singh Malik IC-14457 8 Raj. Rifles
11 Major SC Guleri IC-20230 9 Jat
12 Lt Vijay Kumar Azad IC-58589 1/9 G R
13 Capt Kamal Bakshi IC-19294 5 Sikh
14 2/ Lt Paras Ram Sharma SS-22490 5/8 G R
15 Capt Vashisht Nathfro
16 L/Hv. Krishna Lal Sharma 13719585 1 JK Rifles
17 Subedar Assa Singh JC-41339 5 Sikh
18 Subedar Kalidas JC-59 8 JK LI
19 L/Nk Jagdish Raj 9208735 Mahar Regiment
20 L/Nk Hazoora Singh 682211303
21 Gunner Sujan Singh 1146819 14 Fd Regiment
22 Sepoy Daler Singh 2461830 15 Punjab
23 Gnr Pal Singh 1239603 181 Lt Regiment
24 Sepoy Jagir Singh 2459087 16 Punjab
25 Gnr Madan Mohan 1157419 94 Mountain Regiment
26 Gnr Gyan Chand
27 Gnr Shyam Singh
28 L/NkBalbir Singh
29 S B S Chauhan

Indian Air Force

Name Service No. Unit
1 Sq Ldr Mohinder Kumar Jain   5327-F(P) 27 Sqn
2 Flt Lt Sudhir Kumar Goswami   8956-F(P) 5 Sqn
3 Flying Officer Sudhir Tyagi   10871-F(P) 27 Sqn
4 Flt Lt Vijay Vasant Tambay   7662 -F(P) 32 Sqn
5 Flt Lt Nagaswami Shanker   9773-F(P) 32 Sqn
6 Flt Lt Ram Metharam Advani   7812-F(P) JBCU
7 Flt Lt Manohar Purohit   10249(N) 5 Sqn
8 Flt Lt Tanmaya Singh Dandoss   8160-F(P) 26 Sqn
9 Wg Cdr Hersern Singh Gill   4657-F(P) 47 Sqn
10 Flt Lt Babul Guha   5105-F(P)
11 Flt Lt Suresh Chander Sandal   8659-F(P) 35 Sqn
12 Sqn. Ldr. Jal Manikshaw Mistry   5006-F(P)
13 Flt Lt Harvinder Singh   9441-F(P) 222 Sqn
14 Sqn Ldr Jatinder Das Kumar   4896-F(P) 3 Sqn
15 Flt Lt LM Sassoon   7419-F(P) JBCU
16 Flt Lt Kushalpal Singh Nanda   7819-F(N) 35 Sqn
17 Flg Offr. Krisha Lakhimal Malkani   10576-F(P) 27 Sqn
18 Flt Lt Ashok Balwant Dhavale   9030-F(P) 1 Sqn
19 Flt Lt Shrikant Chanderkant Mahajan   10239-F(P) 5 Sqn
20 Flt Lt Gurdev Singh Rai   9015-F(P) 27 Sqn
21 Flt Lt Ramesh Gulabrao Kadam   8404-F(P) TACDE
22 Flg Offr. KP Murlidharan 10575-F(P) 20 Sqn
23 Naval Pilot Lt. Cdr Ashok Roy
24 Sqn Ldr  Devaprasad Chatterjee
25 Plt Offr Tejinder Singh Sethi

Since retiring from the Indian Army Col. N.N. Bhatia, a prolific writer and social worker, has been working for humanitarian causes like repatriation of POWs from both India and Pakistan. Email: [email protected],

Additional information at: India-Pakistan prisoners – fishermen, POWs, and more.

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