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Vikash Sharma

Sundergarh: The wait for Birju Kulu, who went missing around 25 years ago, by his family members has finally come to end. In fact, there is celebration at home as Birju would be back after spending 20 gruelling years in a jail in Pakistan.

Birju’s family live in Jangateli village in the Rajgangpur block of Sundergarh district. Around 25 years ago Birju had gone missing under mysterious circumstances while working in a hotel in Ranchi, then in Bihar.

It is said that Birju, who was mentally unsound at that time, was caught by authorities in Pakistan after he mistakenly crossed the border.

As per reports, Birju was later sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment and lodged at the Lahore jail. On October 26 this year he was handed over to Indian authorities after completing the term.

The repatriation of Birju came as a big relief for his family back in Odisha who had given up hopes of seeing him again. They recently got information from the district administration that Birju is currently undergoing treatment at a hospital in Amritsar, Punjab he was handed over by Pakistani authorities. Sources said Birju contracted COVID-19 and is now under quarantine.

“After we received information about Birju’s release from Pakistan jail, we got in touch with him and made the necessary arrangements for his return. We are taking all measures to facilitate his return to his village,” said Biswajit Mohapatra, ADM Sundergarh.

Sadly, over the years, Birju’s parents have died while his elder sister is the only person left in the family. She was elated after she spoke with her brother via video-call, recently.
“Recently the district administration showed us Birju’s photograph and we recognised him. Before that we had no idea of his whereabouts,” said Manoj Kulu, a relative.

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