Satara (Maharashtra): Residents of a small village in this western Maharashtra district Wednesday celebrated as the International Court of Justice (ICJ) stayed the death sentence awarded to local lad Kulbhushan Jadhav by a Pakistan court.
There were cheers of joy and sighs of relief as Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, president of the ICJ, read the court’s decision in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case and stayed death sentence awarded to him by a military court till Pakistan reviews the trial.
People in Kulbhushan Jadhav’s native Javli village in this district condemned Pakistan and demanded immediate release of the retired Indian Navy officer sentenced to death by a Pakistan army court on alleged ‘espionage’ charges.
A villager said that Jadhav has built a house in his farm at Javli and used to visit the village two-three times a year.
“The Indian government should get him released at any cost. It is their responsibility. India should pressurize Pakistan to release Kulbhushan Jadhav,” the villager said.
Jadhav is the son of Sudhir Jadhav, a retired Assistant Commissioner of Police in Mumbai. His uncle Subhash Jadhav, also a retired ACP, said, “We are happy that the judgment went in our favour and now await Kulbhushan’s return to India.”
At Parel in south Mumbai, where Kulbhushan lived for some years, friends and relatives watched the ICJ proceedings live on a TV, with a prayer on their lips.
A friend said they arranged for a TV set where they could sit together and watch the ICJ ruling. After the judgement, they released balloons and pigeons in the sky as a gesture of peace. All of them wore T-shirts with the caption, ‘India with Kulbhushan’