Ajay Devgn's teenage fan among five Pakistanis freed by India
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A 13-year-old boy, who ran away from his family and crossed over to India a year ago apparently to meet his favourite Bollywood star Ajay Devgn, was among five Pakistanis freed by India through the Wagah land border today.
Five persons were handed over to the paramilitary Pakistan Rangers at Wagah.
Teenager Kashif Ali was found in Faridkot in India's Punjab state when Pakistan's Ajoka Theatre group went there last month to perform a play at a 'mela' honouring the Sufi saint Baba Farid.
Ajoka Theatre group's creative director Madiha Gauhar and Kashif's family received the teenager at the border.
Pakistan Rangers officials interrogated the five Pakistani nationals before handing them over to their families.
When the Ajoka Theatre group went to Faridkot on September 21, Indian officials asked its members to help them trace the family of Kashif, who was detained after he illegally crossed the border in September last year.
"I met Kashif and spoke to him to find out about his family. After returning to Pakistan, we traced his widowed mother in Depalpur in Okara district of Punjab," Gauhar said.
A video of Kashif, filmed by members of Ajoka Theatre, was beamed by TV news channels and police officials, who had been looking for the boy, saw the footage and contacted his family.
Kashif's mother Kulsoom Bibi had enrolled him in a madrassa in Lahore after his father died some years ago.
Kashif, the youngest of six siblings, did not like living in the seminary and made several attempts to run away.
While returning to the madrassa after a holiday last year, Kashif ran away and illegally crossed the border to enter India.
While Kashif has not said why he decided to go to India, one of his brothers told Gauhar his decision may have been influenced by the fact that he is a fan of Bollywood star Ajay Devgn.