The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Naveen prisoner plea

Bhubaneswar, Aug. 22: Orissa chief minister Naveen Patnaik has urged the external affairs ministry to help secure the release of an Oriya labourer who has been languishing in a Pakistani prison for six years.

In a letter to Union external affairs minister Yashwant Sinha, Patnaik has requested that he personally intervene so that Heraman Gudia, a migrant labourer from Sundargarh, can return home.

Lily, Gudia’s daughter, has been waiting for her father to return to their village in Lakhoti. Gudia, a widower, left Lily with his in-laws before leaving for north India in search of work.

Oblivious of the border problems between India and Pakistan, he strayed into Pakistan territory and was dumped in prison. Gudia, whose name figures on a list of 79 Indian prisoners in Pakistan who have completed their prison terms, should have returned home in November last year.

Government officials in Orissa say Gudia should be released from Pakistan as a goodwill gesture.

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