The condition of Pakistani prisoner Sanaullah Ranjay was ‘stable’,India said today while terming as ‘regrettable’ the incident in Jammu jail where he was injured during a scuffle with another inmate and assured the guilty will be punished even as Pakistan sought his urgent repatriation.
The Pakistan High Commission also sought immediate consular access to 52-year-old Sanaullah,to which India maintained that it will grant the access after doctors treating him give the go-ahead for the same. Sanaullah was serving a life term after being convicted under TADA provisions following his arrest in 1999.
“Pakistan High Commission has shown serious concern. It has taken up with Ministry of External Affairs the attack on Pakistani prisoner Sanaullah in Kot Bhalwal Jail in Jammu,” the Press Attache in the High Commission here said.
He added Pakistan had sought urgent repatriation of Sanaullah on humanitarian grounds for medical treatment there.
Pakistan has also sought airlifting of Sanaullah by an air ambulance to Pakistan and assistance in ground facilitation.
He said that apart from seeking immediate consular access,the High Commission has also asked for detailed information about the incident and medical facilities for the victim and security of other Pakistani inmates.
“We are aware of the regrettable incident involving a Pakistani prisoner Sanaullah who was injured today during an altercation with another inmate of the jail in Jammu. The matter is being investigated and the guilty will be punished.
Safety and security of prisoners in custody lies with the jail authorities and the necessary action is being taken.
“We are in touch with the Pakistan High Commission on the matter. The injured is receiving medical treatment and once the medical arrangements are in place,the consular access will be provided,” the spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs said.
He said the condition of the Pakistani prisoner was ‘stable but remains under medical watch’.
A resident of Sialkot in Pakistan,Sanuallah was immediately shifted from high-security Kot Balwal jail to Government Medical College hospital and later rushed to PGI Chandigarh in an air ambulance after doctors said his condition was critical.
The incident involving Sanaullah comes a day after the death of Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh after a murderous attack on him in a Lahore prison.
49-year-old Sarabjit had sustained severe injuries when at least six prisoners attacked him in a barrack at Kot Lakhpat Jail last week,hitting him on the head with bricks.
The MEA spokesperson also said that in view of these ‘tragic incidents’,which included the killing of two Indian prisoners in a Pakistani jail and that involving a Pakistani prisoner in a jail in Jammu today,there is a need to take stock of the current measures in place to ensure safety,security and humane treatment of Indian and Pakistani prisoners in each other’s jails.
“For this,we are proposing a meeting of the concerned authorities of both countries to study the recommendations and identify and put in place further measures to avoid such tragic incidents in future,” he said.
The spokesperson also referred to the Union Home Ministry’s circular advising states to strengthen the security of Pakistani prisoners in their respective jails.
There are nearly 535 Indian prisoners (including 483 fishermen) in Pakistani jails and a total of 270 Pakistani prisoners in Indian jails.
Later,Pakistani High Commissioner to India Salman Bashir said it was important that the agreements on consular access be fully respected and adhered to.
“I think Pakistan will not be averse to impartial investigation into the condition and plight of Pakistani prisoners in India,” he said.
Later,official sources said India has conveyed to the Pakistan High Commission that Sanaullah was receiving medical treatment and his condition was stable.
During the meeting between the Pakistan Deputy High Commissioner and the MEA officials,the issue of security of Indian prisoners in Pakistan was also discussed.
“We underlined the need for Pakistan to ensure the safety and security of Indian prisoners in Pakistan. With regard to Pakistani prisoners in Indian jails,it was clarified that in view of the strong sentiments in India following the brutal killing of Sarabjit Singh in Pakistan,the government here had taken several steps to enhance security of Pakistan prisoners held in Indian jails,” the sources said.
The Pakistani side was also conveyed about the steps taken immediately after the incident in Kot Balwal Jail in Jammu this morning.
“The Jail Superintendent was immediately suspended,the Home Minister has ordered an inquiry into the incident and the investigation has begun,and after the inquiry is completed appropriate action will be taken,” the MEA official told the Pakistani side.
India’s demand for the autopsy report of Sarabjit Singh,as well as the long pending autopsy report of Chambail Singh who was also killed in a Pakistani jail this January,has been reiterated.
“We also underlined the need for Pakistan to share the full details of their investigation into the killing of Sarabjit Singh as well as the actions they have taken to identify and punish those who were responsible for his brutal killing,” the sources said.