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Tribal man returns to Odisha village after spending 20-years in Pakistan jail

Fifty-year-old tribal man Birju Kulu’s accorded a grand welcome on return to his remote village in Odisha. This after spending 20 years in a jail in Pakistan.

Kulunleft home at the age of 25 years. He worked at different places before moving to Punjab and crossing over to Pakistani territory by mistake.

A large number of villagers from the area welcomed Kulu amidst traditional tribal dance, music and beating of drums and other instruments. However his parents are no more, but his paternal uncle and aunt, sister and her family eagerly waited for him.

“I am very happy that I am back in my native place and I will live here for the rest of my life. I am trying to recognise my friends and other relatives whom I had left behind. And this is a great moment for me,” said Kulu.

Kulu left home and somehow walked across the border into Pakistan by mistake. Therefore caught, taken into custody on the suspicion of being an Indian spy and put in jail.

Block Development Officer (BDO) of Kutra, Manas Ray stated Kulu provided with ration card, Aadhaar card and benefits under different government schemes. “We will also try to get him a house to stay as per government provisions,” the BDO said.