A Hyderabad-based software engineer, who was arrested by Pakistan police officials two years ago in the Punjab province, was repatriated to India on Monday, May 31. Prashanth Vaindam, who was arrested by Pakistan’s Bahawalpur police for allegedly crossing the border illegally, was reportedly handed over to India’s Border Security Force (BSF) at the Attari-Wagah border on Monday. He is being escorted to Hyderabad by Telangana immigration officials.
Prashanth was arrested along with Durmi Lal, a farmer from Madhya Pradesh, at the Cholistan desert area of Pakistan’s Punjab province. However, he was reported missing from Hyderabad in April 2017. The news of Prashanth’s repatriation comes as a major relief for his family, who have not seen him for over four years. At the time of his arrest by Pakistani police, the issue created a sensation as a section of the Pakistan media speculated that Prashanth might be a spy. However, his family had earlier told TNM that his going missing might have had something to do with a failed relationship.
Months before news of his arrest in Pakistan had broken, the family was visited by a Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) agent who informed them that their son was in Pakistan, Prashanth’s father Babu Rao had told TNM. “He said, ‘Your son was caught in Pakistan on April 15, 2017’,” Babu Rao said. This date was four days after he went missing on April 11, 2017.
When he went missing, Prashanth was working at a software company in Madhapur. Before this, he worked at a company in Bengaluru, where he reportedly was in a relationship with a colleague from Rajasthan. However, when this did not work out, he moved in with his brother’s family in 2013. Prashanth’s family suspected that Prashanth going missing had something to do with his being depressed about the break-up.