May 2, 2013 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Lahore, Pakistan (May 02, 2013): According to a news report by BBC – “[a]n Indian man convicted of spying by a court in Pakistan has died after being attacked last week by fellow inmates, medical officials and his lawyer said”.
Sarabjit Singh, was reportedly attacked with bricks by prisoners in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail on Friday.
“He fell into a coma and died at 01:00 on Thursday morning (20:00 Wednesday GMT) in Lahore’s Jinnah hospital” the BBC has reproted.
Indian PM Manmohan Singh’s office said the perpetrators should be brought to justice for the “barbaric” attack.
- Accused of spying and involvement in the 1990 bomb attacks in Lahore and Faisalabad in which 14 people died.
- Convicted and sentenced to death in 1991.
- Pakistan says his real name was Manjit Singh.
- Campaigners allege his trial was unfair and he confessed under torture.
- His family says he was a farmer who strayed into Pakistan by mistake while drunk.
- Delhi unsuccessfully appealed for his release or transfer to India.
- Died on Thursday after being attacked by inmates in Lahore’s prison.
- Singh was sentenced to death for spying and his role in bomb attacks that killed 14 people in Pakistan in 1990.
It is notable that Sarbjeet Singh’s family that had only just returned to India after visiting him in hospital, always insisted Sarbjeet Singh was innocent and had strayed into Pakistan by mistake when he was arrested.
But his petitions against the death penalty were rejected by Pakistani courts and former President Pervez Musharraf.
According to a Zee News report dated June 27, 2012 Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari had commuted the death sentence of Sarabjeet Singh to life imprisonment.
India had appealed for Sarabjeet Singh, 49, to be released or transferred to India over concerns about his treatment following his attack. He had sustained several serious injuries, including a fractured skull.
In a tweet, Manmohan Singh’s office wrote: “Particularly regrettable that the Govt of Pakistan did not heed the pleas…. to take a humanitarian view of this case”.
Indian Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde reportedly said Delhi was negotiating with Islamabad about the repatriation of the body.
It is notable that Sarabjit Singh’s family returned to India on May 01, 2013 after visiting him in hospital.
A doctor told AFP arrangements were under way for an autopsy.
“The issue risks stirring fresh tensions in relations between nuclear-armed neighbours – and long-time rivals – India and Pakistan, correspondents say” BBC has reported.
According to BBC news report “[s]trains had already increased in the past six months with the execution in India of Kashmiri Afzul Guru over the 2001 attack on India’s parliament, and of Mohammed Ajmal Qasab, a Pakistani who was the sole surviving perpetrator of the 2008 Mumbai attacks”.
“Mr Sheikh said his client had received threats after Guru’s execution” it reads further.
Sarabjit Singh was reportedly attacked on April 26, 2013 as he and other prisoners were brought out of their cells for a one-hour break.
Two inmates were charged with attempted murder and two officials suspended.
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