Trapped Abroad: Punjab Youths Stranded in Indonesian Jail

by Antariksh Singh

In a heartbreaking saga unfolding in the rural villages of Punjab, the families of Gurmej Singh and Ajaypal Singh find themselves in anguish as their sons languish in an Indonesian jail, falsely implicated in a murder case. What began as aspirations for a better future turned into a nightmare of deceit and betrayal.

Gurmej Singh, 22, from Gaggomahal village, and his cousin Ajaypal Singh, 22, from Modhe village near the International Border, had dreams of seeking opportunities abroad. Little did they know that their aspirations would lead them into the clutches of immigration fraudsters.

According to Gurmej’s father, Sahib Singh, and Ajaypal’s father, Sukhchain Singh, the youths were promised a safe passage to the United States by an agent they met through Facebook. The agent, identified as Charanjit Singh Sodhi from Delhi, allegedly took Rs 35 lakh each from Gurmej and Ajaypal under the guise of arranging their travel and settlement in the US.

On May 5 last year, the cousins embarked on their journey, leaving from Amritsar to Delhi, and subsequently to Indonesia. However, upon arrival in Indonesia, their passports were confiscated by Sodhi’s accomplice, Sunny Kumar, from Hoshiarpur. Trapped in a room, they were coerced into making false assurances to their families back home while being subjected to physical abuse.

The situation took a darker turn on May 13 when a dispute erupted among the agents over money. Seizing a fleeting opportunity, Gurmej and Ajaypal managed to escape, heading straight for the airport with hopes of returning home. Tragically, before they could board their flight back to India, they were arrested by Indonesian authorities on charges related to a murder case, a bewildering twist that shattered their families.

Back in Punjab, the families, despite mortgaging their lands and property to fund their sons’ aspirations, are now battling against a justice system that seems distant and bureaucratic. Despite assurances from local politicians and authorities, including Cabinet minister Kuldeep Dhaliwal and MP Gurjit Aujla, the road to securing their sons’ release remains uncertain and fraught with challenges.

The Amritsar rural police have filed FIRs against Charanjit Singh Sodhi and Sunny Kumar, but with little success in apprehending them due to lack of concrete leads. According to Attari DSP Sukhjinder Singh Thapar, the pursuit of justice is hindered by the elusive nature of Sodhi’s whereabouts and Sunny’s presence in Indonesia.

For the Singh families, the ordeal continues with prayers and appeals for governmental intervention to expedite their sons’ return and to bring the perpetrators of this deceitful scheme to justice. As the days turn into months, their hope remains anchored in the belief that justice will prevail, and Gurmej and Ajaypal will soon be reunited with their loved ones in Punjab, putting an end to this harrowing chapter of their lives.

Antariksh Singh

You may also like

Khalsa Vox

Khalsa Vox is a new-age online digest that brings to you the latest in Punjab politics, history, culture, heritage and more.

Latest Stories

Khalsa Vox, All Right Reserved.