MNS protests against Pakistan, demands release of Kulbhushan Jadhav

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Mumbai : Amid growing support for former Navy commander Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistan military court, MNS supporters on Tuesday took out a procession to condemn Islamabad and demand his immediate release.

Carrying placards and banners with anti-Pakistani slogans, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) leaders and workers said Jadhav should be freed by Pakistan since he is innocent.

A group of MNS activists damaged a Pakistani flag and attempted to set it ablaze as part of the protests in Dadar on Tuesday afternoon.

Similarly, friends, neighbours and others on Tuesday converged outside residential building Silver Oak in suburban Powai's upmarket Hiranandani Gardens, where Jadhavs live, and held a silent protest.

They carried handmade placards and posters to express support to Kulbhushan Jadhav and urged the Indian government to arrange for his early release.

Simultaneously, scores of locals offered special prayers at temples in Powai area for divine intervention for Jadhav's safe release.

The family hails from Sangli and Jadhav's father Sudhir Jadhav retired as a Mumbai Police officer sometime ago.

On Monday, a terse statement from Pakistan's Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said a Field General Court Martial had awarded the capital punishment to Indian 'spy' Jadhav, which was confirmed by Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

Jadhav was arrested in Balochistan region on March 3, 2016, and Pakistan authorities claimed he used an alias of Hussein Mubarak Patel.

The ISPR said he was arrested for "involvement in espionage and sabotage activities against Pakistan". 

India on Tuesday warned Pakistan that bilateral ties will be hit if it went ahead with the death sentence awarded to Jadhav, who Pakistan claims to be an Indian spy.