Duplicity kills Sarabjit Singh

Duplicity of Pak officials and religious bigots of Pakistan were responsible for killing of Sarabjit of India.

Sarabjit Singh, who has died from his injuries after being attacked in a Pakistani prison, was convicted of spying and sentenced to death in 1991.  According to Pakistan, his real name was Manjit Singh and was involved in the 1990 bomb attacks in Lahore and Faisalabad in which 14 people died. But his family have always insisted on his innocence. They say he was a farmer who strayed into Pakistan by mistake while drunk and that he is the victim of mistaken identity.

Born in 1964, native of Bhikhiwind in Tarn Taran district near the border with Pakistan, Sarabjit dropped out of school and worked on farms to support his family. He was playing kabaddi was also a very good wrestler who had no match in the region. Singh was farming a field close to the Pakistan border on the day he crossed over to Pakistan. After work, Sarabjit crossed over to Pakistan, possibly in an inebriated state. His trial was unfair and he confessed under torture. His lawyers at the time also failed to appear for the hearing. It is believed that he was caught up in the political manoeuvrings of Delhi and Islamabad. He was prosecuted and convicted in English – when he speaks only Punjabi and Urdu – and there are other serious questions over the fairness of his trial, including allegations that he was tortured in custody and forced to confess.
Sarabjit Singh’s family in India was given little access to him when he was alive – his sister Dalbir Kaur was allowed by the Lahore High Court to meet him in jail in June 2011 and that was only the second time he was allowed a visit. The meeting duration was about 90 minutes during which he enquired about his wife, two daughters, neighbors and relatives. The two exchanges presents. While Ms. Kaur tied Rakhi, Sarbjit wept and as a return gift, he gave her a bangle which he had made in jail.

After the hanging of Afzal Guru in India, militants in Pakistan posed a threat to the life of Sarabjit. Duplicity of law enforcing agencies and religious institutions was on cards. He was attacked with bricks by inmates in Lahore’s jail. Careful observers of attitude of Islamic intolerants are not surprised by the attack. Sarabjit Singh fell into a coma after Friday’s (26th April 2013) attack in Lahore’s Jinnah hospital and died on Thursday morning. After the killing of Sarabjit, his lawyer Awais Sheikh was being followed and harassed. A CID official had tried to kidnap Awais a day before the death of Sarabjit Singh. His family has been receiving threatening phone calls and letters from individuals who claim to be Taliban.

Meanwhile a Pakistani prisoner, Sanaullah Haq, suffered critical head injuries after he was attacked by a fellow inmate at the high-security Kot Bhalwal jail in Jammu, in Jammu and Kashmir. He has been admitted to intensive care at a Jammu hospital and doctors say he is in a coma. Sanaullah detonated bombs at electric towers and government buildings in Jammu and Kashmir in 1990. He was sentenced to eight years imprisonment by a Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) and Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) court in 2008. Haq has been in prison for the past 17 years. The attack happened on Friday morning after an argument between Haq and Vinod Kumar, a former soldier. The attack could be a logical reaction to the killing of Sarabjit if not a planned retaliat on by India. It is reported that Sanaullah cited Sarabjit during a quarrel with Vinod Kumar which enraged him to initiate the attack.

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