A day after Kulbhushan Jadhav was awarded the death sentence by a court in Pakistan, his father, retired assistant commissioner of police Sudhir Jadhav, said the family was still unable to come to terms with reality. Though they have not lost hope yet and are awaiting instructions from the Centre, it is the grandchildren in the family who are putting up a brave front.
“He was a well-settled man. We were happy when he got a job in the navy, but then he decided to quit and start a business of his own. Even we were surprised at that time, but no one knew anything apart from this. We were shocked to see news of his arrest on TV channels. Still there was hope that he would come back, or that something positive would happen. But now this sentence has come as a big blow for the entire family. At the age of 75, if one has to hear about one’s son being sentenced to death, then what will his condition be,” Sudhir said.
“We are totally broken by this development. It is sadder to see his kids, who are trying to put up a brave front. Though they are proud of their father, deep down, they are hiding their sorrow, and I can feel it. They have become silent now. I don’t know how they will manage the situation. But they are hiding their feelings from everyone so that we don’t break down.”
Jadhav said the family is clueless about what the Centre is doing , but says they are awaiting further instructions from the government. “Right now we are not doing anything, but are waiting for orders. As soon as we get some intimation, we will go to Delhi. But till that time, we have to keep quiet,” he said.
Kulbhushan’s father and his uncle, Subhash Jadhav, are both retired assistant commissioners of police, Mumbai.
Jadhav grew up in the family home at NM Joshi Marg, where his childhood friends started a campaign, ‘Bring Kulbhushan Back’ after his arrest in March 2016. “We knew that Pakistan would make Kulbhushan another Sarabjit,” Tulsidas Pawar, Jadhav’s friend, had said on Monday.
Jadhav was picked up by Pakistani authorities from the Mashkel region of Balochistan on March 3 last year. India has maintained that Jadhav, a former Indian Navy officer, was arrested from Iran-controlled Baluchistan, where he was on a business trip. Jadhav’s Indian passport bore a valid Iranian visa, L9630722, at the time of his arrest.
Pakistan charged Jadhav with subversion and sabotage and he was sentenced to death by Field General Court Martial under the Pakistan Army Act.