Local journalists insulted Kulbhushan Jadhav's mother after she met her son yesterday, sources have told India Today. After the MEA held a press conference today, a Congress leader asked the Modi government to "take a strong stand."

On Christmas Day, as Kulbhushan Jadhav's mother left a forty-minute-long meeting with her son, she was called "Qatil Ki Maa, (murderer's mother)" outside the Pakistan Foreign Office in Islamabad.

That's what sources quoted that nation's journalists as saying to Avanti Yadav as she left the premises.

What's more, Avanti and Chetankul Yadav were forced to wait in their car, so journalists could heckle them, sources said. India's Ministry of External Affairs has levelled the same charge against Pakistan.

But the Jadhavs' ordeal began well before that, when they were taken into a shipping container in a parking lot to meet Kulbhushan.

The former Navy officer, who Islamabad sentenced to death in April on charges of espionage, couldn't hug his wife, or receive the gift his mother had brought with her. A barricade of sound-proof glass separated them.

There's more. Every time Avanti Yadav began speaking to Kulbhushan in Marathi, a woman officer turned off the intercom, sources said. India's foreign ministry, too, says conversation in Marathi wasn't allowed.

She and Chetankul were asked not to eat anything, the sources said.

Yesterday, after photos of the meeting were released, Congress MP and former UN official Shashi Tharoor lamented the "very disappointingly unhumanitarian spirit" in which it was conducted. One of the images showed what looked like injuries on Jadhav's head and ear, and Tharoor said people "more knowledgeable" than him suggested there were "signs of torture."

Kulbhushan's mother noticed.

Avanti Yadav said Kulbhushan didn't look and feel like the her son as she had known him, and asked why he had scars, sources told India Today.

They also said she asked him not to lie, and tell the truth: that he was a businessman.

Pakistan alleges that Kulbhushan Jadhav was working for RAW (Research and Analysis Wing), India's external spy agency. New Delhi says the former Navy man, who started a business in Iran's Chabahar port, was abducted by the Taliban and sold to Pakistan intelligence agencies.

"They have insulted the Indian women and their respect . We condemn it," Congress leader Gaurav Gogoi told India Today, after the Ministry of External Affairs said Avanti and Chetankul Jadhav were asked to remove their mangalsutra, bangles, bindi and shoes (Chetankul didn't get her footwear back).

"We want the Indian government to (make) clear its policy (on) how it will bring Kulbhushan back to India," Gogoi said. "We want the Indian government to take a strong stand."