Jadhav not a spy, should be freed, says Rajnath


Mumbai:  Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today accused Pakistan of attempting a “pre-planned murder” of former Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav and asserted India will do “whatever it takes” to ensure his release.

“Pakistan is attempting a pre-planned murder of Kulbhushan Jadhav,” he said, striking an aggressive posture against Islamabad over the death penalty awarded to the Indian national by a military court in the neighbouring country.

“Jadhav is not a spy and should be released,” Singh said while speaking at the Lokmat Maharashtrian of the Year Awards here tonight.

“He went out of India for business. Pakistan agencies kidnapped him. He was carrying an Indian passport. Do spies carry passports?” he asked, seeking to trash Islamabad’s claim that the 46-year-old was involved in “espionage and sabotage activities”.

“We will do whatever it takes to ensure Jadhav’s release.

If needed we will take the issue to international fora,” the Home Minister asserted.

Speaking during an interactive session at the event, Singh maintained India won’t hesitate to take “strong steps” to secure Jadhav’s release.

However, he did not disclose what “strong steps” New Delhi was contemplating.

Jadhav, who hails from Maharashtra, was “arrested” on March 3 last year by Pakistan security officials allegedly in Balochistan which, they said, he entered from Iran.

He was sentenced to death by a military court in a secret trial and the Pakistan’s army chief yesterday approved his execution.