On the evening of Thursday, 27 July, they dislodged the final brick. ‘Tomorrow night, we go,’ said Dilip. But Grewal wanted to wait. The Simla Pact had just been ratified by both countries and troop withdrawals were beginning. Again there were rumours of a prisoner exchange. Why not wait a few more days to see if they were true?
‘I don’t want to go back through repatriation.’ Said Dilip. ‘If repatriation is tomorrow I will attempt to escape today. We have wasted enough time already.’
This extract has been taken from the book Four Miles to Freedom by Faith Johnston.
About the book
FOUR MILES TO FREEDOM: ESCAPE FROM A PAKISTANI POW CAMP
When Flight Lieutenant Dilip Parulkar was shot down over Pakistan on 10 December 1971, he quickly turned that catastrophe into the greatest adventure of his life. On 13 August 1972, Parulkar, along with Malvinder Singh Grewal and Harish Sinhji, escaped from a POW camp in Rawalpindi. Four Miles to Freedom is their story. Based on interviews with eight Indian fighter pilots who helped prepare the escape and the two who escaped, as well as research into other sources, Four Miles is also the moving, sometimes amusing, account of how twelve fighter pilots from different ranks and backgrounds coped with deprivation, forced intimacy and the pervasive uncertainty of a year in captivity and how they came together to support Parulkars courageous escape plan.
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