NEW DELHI: Almost three months after TOI front-paged a report about a computer engineer from Sargodha in Pakistan languishing in an Indian jail , there is some good news for his family who were told he was dead. The family in Pakistan has been contacted by the local police and embassy officials confirming Mohammed Irfan's presence in Amritsar jail.

Then 23-year-old Irfan had come to Delhi in February 2007 to make purchases for his coaching centre. He was returning home when a blast ripped through Samjhauta Express. He was since declared "missing" since nobody saw him after that day , nor did his family's DNA match any of the victims. Eight years on, his family was told of a prisoner in Punjab's jail, sentenced to four years under the Passport Act after the blasts but languishing there since, and now mentally ill. The family had written to the external affairs ministry and planned to meet minister Sushma Swaraj for help.

Irfan's brother Mubashir said that the local station officer in Sargodha had visited the family enquiring about Irfan. "He told us he was likely to be released soon and he had to verify his antecedents and whereabouts. The officers also took some documents from us and noted down all the details," said Mubashir.

"Irfan was travelling from Delhi to Attari. He held a Pakistani passport. He was injured in the blast and admit ted to a hospital in Panipat His elder brother, Mubashir and others came to India looking for him," says Ashok Randhawa, an activist fighting for terror victims' rights.

The family couldn't find him and lost hope. Until June, when a man called Shaukat, lodged in Amritsar Jail, told the family that Irfan was lodged in there after being sentenced under the Passport Act.

Courtesy Times of India