Gurdip was scheduled to be executed in Indonesia on Heroin smuggling charges at 10:00 pm (IST) on Thursday night.
A phone call from Indonesia on Friday morning at 7:45 am changed the entire mood from sorrow to happiness in the family of Gurdip Singh, an Indian who was spared from execution by the firing squad at the last minute in that country. At Gurdip’s home in Nankodar, Jalandhar where the family had lost all hope till a few hours ago, sweets were exchanged and visitors came to celebrate.
Gurdip was to be executed in Indonesia on Heroin smuggling charges at 10:00 pm (IST) on Thursday night but extensive last-minute efforts of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj seem to have saved his life for now.
Gurdip’s restless and inconsolable wife Kulwinder Kaur was the one who received the phone call in the morning.
“Tera Gurdip bach gaya, chamtkar ho gaya. Mainu tan le gaye see shoot karan vaste, but 5-7 minutes pata ni ki hoya te mainu vapis bula leya te kiha ki innu shoot ni karna. Indian Government ne Bahut saath dita te Agge v mera khyal rakhyo.."
(Your Gurdip has been spared, it’s a miracle. I was taken to firing squad, but within 5-7 minutes something happened and I was called back. It was all because of efforts of the Indian government),” he is reported to have told her.
The family also got another call at 8:45 am from Gurdip in which he profusely thanked the Indian government especially Sushma Swaraj and the media which took up his case a few hours ahead of his execution.
“He told me that he will go back to the same jail from where he was brought for execution and from there he will call us. He asked the well being of all in the family and his children,” his wife said.
Sukhbir Singh, their 13-year-old son, told the Indian Express, “Now I can see my father and live with him,” adding that once his father comes back, he will not let him go to any foreign country. His 17-year-old daughter, Manjot Kaur, was so happy that she told all visitors, “Papa is safe and will come home soon.”
Gurdip was lodged in Indonesian jail since 2004 after he was caught on charges of smuggling heroin. Kulwinder Kaur still considers him innocent and claims he was duped by a travel agent. “Though Gurdip left home to go to New Zealand in 2002, but he landed in Indonesia. The travel agents there snatched his passport and forced him to be part of a drug cartel,” she alleged. Before moving to Indonesia, Gurdip had spent nearly a decade in Libya also as a carpenter.
Source: IndianExpress. (This article is published verbatim as on Indian Express )