Thiruvananthapuram: Praying for release of former Navy officer Khulbhushan Jadav, facing a death row in Pakistan on charges of espionage, a local citizen forum today made ‘pongala’ offering to the presiding deity of Atukkal Bhagavathy temple here.
As thousands of women prepared ‘pongala’ (a mix of rice, jaggery and scraped coconut offering made to the deity) in makeshift brick stoves on the roadsides, a small group of two women and three men representing the forum took part in the event seeking divine intervention for the early release of 47-year-old Jhadav.
President of the East Fort Paura Samithi P K S Rajan said they offered pongala as they wanted justice for Jhadav.
“This is to show our commitment. This is an issue which has national and international ramifications. We want justice for him,” he told PTI.
At the spot in East Fort, the group displayed a big flex board with a picture of Jadav with two Indian flags just below the photograph of Goddess Atukkal Devi, who is worshipped by women on this day by making the ‘pongala’ offering.
Jadav has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism. The International Court of Justice in last May halted his execution on India’s appeal.
Several film and television actors and well known personalities were among those who offered ‘pongala’ this year.