JAIPUR: After spending 36 years in a Pakistani jail, Gajanand Sharma, a labourer from Jaipur, will be released from prison and cross over to India from the Wagah border on Monday.

Sharma had gone missing in 1982 and on May 7 this year it was confirmed that he was lodged in ‘s Koth Lakhpat jail. On August 9, MoS external affairs V K Singh informed his family that Sharma is likely to be released from prison on August 13. Ever since, his kin in Brahmpuri is hoping that Sharma reaches his motherland prior to Independence Day. On Sunday morning, they were elated to know that Sharma will cross the Wagah border on Monday. Sharma is among 30 prisoners, including 29 fishermen, who will be released and handed over to Indian authorities.

“We were praying that my father sees freedom before our Independence Day and reaches Jaipur on the occasion. When MP (Jaipur) Ramcharan Bohra confirmed that he would be released on August 13 (Monday), we couldn‘t contain our happiness. Now, we are hoping that he reaches home at least on or before August 15,” Sharma‘s son Mukesh told TOI. When asked how the family is planning to welcome Sharma, Mukesh said, “It all depends on my father. No one knows how he will respond after seeing us. We are all now married and he has become a father-in-law and grandfather. We may accompany him to a temple for prayers.”

“All these years, we had thought of the worst that could have possibly happened to him, but we were praying every day,” said Mukesh. “My mother has already made plans to arrange a room in the house for him. She has asked her daughters-in-law to cook various dishes and has directed her grandchildren to touch their grandfather‘s feet upon his arrival,” he added.

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