Gunmen abduct Sarabjit’s lawyer,son,free them later

Awais Sheikh had Wednesday night written to Amnesty International about threat to life

Written by Muzamil Jaleel | Amritsar/lahore | Published: May 17, 2013 1:37 am

Pakistani lawyer who represented Sarabjit Singh,Awais Sheikh,was allegedly kidnapped along with his 29-year-old son Shahrukh on Thursday and later released.

“Four unknown gunmen” intercepted them at Lahore’s Burki Road and bundled them into a pickup van. But after taking them 50 km away,the two were released at Sheikhpura. The reason for abduction is not yet known.

On Thursday morning,Muhammad Haroon,another son of Sheikh,told the media that his father and brother have not returned home after they went to Burki Hudiara village to buy land for a farm house.

DIG Lahore Jawad Ahmad Dogar said teams have been formed to find the lawyer and his son. But a few hours later,both were found in Sheikhpura where their captors allegedly left them.

Ever since he accompanied Sarabjit’s family back to Wagah border from a hospital in Lahore last month,Sheikh had been publicly accusing security agencies and “some militant groups” of harassment. In a letter to Sonya Merkova of Amnesty International last night,Sheikh had said that he

was scared as he has been constantly getting threats from some militant groups.

“When his (Sarabjit) family went back to India a day before his death,I accompanied them to Wagah border to see them off. On my way back,I was harassed,chased. Some CID men tried to kidnap me. I was able to reach home with the help of a customs officer,” he wrote.

Chairperson of Pakistan Human Rights Commission,Zohra Yusuf,had written to Punjab’s caretaker chief minister Najam Sethi on May 3,asking him to immediately provide security to Sheikh.

Sheikh had himself emailed the letter he had written in response to Amnesty’s queries to the Amritsar bureau of The Indian Express last night. “My last meeting with Sarabjit was crucial and one can find hidden truth of his brutal murder. Why,how,who…you can find answers,” he wrote.

In the letter,Sheikh said he had met Sarabjit in jail after Afzal Guru was hanged. “It was last week of February. During my meeting,Sarabjit asked a CID man sitting besides me to come close… Sarabjit was frightened,” Sheikh wrote.

He quoted Sarabjit as saying to the CID man,“Note down the name of jail mates who want to kill me.” “Then he named someone and the CID man noted down his name on a piece of paper. Sarabjit was quite upset,frightened and perplexed. While leaving jail premises,I met Deputy SP of the jail and informed him about this,” Sheikh wrote.

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