Punjab caretaker CM orders judicial inquiry into Sarabjit’s murder

LAHORE: Punjab Caretaker Chief Minister Najam Sethi has ordered for a judical inquiry into the death of Indian spy, Sarbajit Singh, a High Court Judge will conduct the inquiry.

The 49-year-old Sarabjit Singh, who was sentenced to death 16 years ago on espionage charges, died in Lahore’s Jinnah Hospital on late Wednesday night after lying in a comatose state for the last five days, a senior doctor at the hospital said.

Singh went into a coma after suffering multiple serious injuries when six prisoners attacked him on April 26 at Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat Jail, hitting him on the head with bricks and fracturing his skull.

According to officials, Pakistan has arrested and charged two prisoners with murder following the death of an Indian man jailed for espionage.

Two prisoners were taken into custody immediately after the attack and have now been charged with his murder, police official Tariq Mehmood said.

“We have added a murder clause to the police complaint,” Tariq Mehmood, a police official at Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat police station, said.

“The criminals responsible for the barbaric and murderous attack on Sarabjit Singh must be brought to justice,” Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on his official Twitter page.

India has complained that its diplomats were denied access to the prisoner as he fought for his life, and the premier said it was “particularly regrettable” that Pakistan had not responded to appeals “to take a humanitarian view of this case”.

The prime minister added that New Delhi would make the necessary arrangements to bring his body home for funeral rites, after earlier negotiations to treat the jailed spy in India or a third country failed.

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Pakistan insists regular consular access was granted to Singh and said doctors did everything possible to save him before his death from cardiac arrest.

“The prisoner, who had been in a comatose state and on a ventilator for the last few days, was being provided the best treatment available and the medical staff at Jinnah Hospital had been working round the clock… to save his life,” the foreign ministry said.

The government provided “all assistance” to Singh’s family and the Indian authorities, and will facilitate “the early completion of all formalities” and hand over his body “at the earliest possible” time, it added in a statement.

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