Sarabjit attacked with bricks,blades

Prime suspect in the attack on Indian prisoner had quarrelled with him a few days ago.

Written by M Zulqernain | Published: April 27, 2013 3:07:55 am

‘Prime suspect had quarrelled with him a few days back’

The prime suspect in the attack on Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh on Friday had quarrelled with him a few days ago but Pakistani authorities at Kot Lakhpat Jail did not bother to take notice of the incident,official sources said.

Death row prisoner Amer Aftab tried to attack Sarabjit a few days ago and abused him,sources told PTI. The reason for the altercation could not immediately be ascertained.

Aftab,who was being held in a barrack near Sarabjit’s in one of the most secure sections of Kot Lakhpat Jail,was among at least six prisoners who attacked the Indian national at about 4.30 pm.

Sarabjit was hit on the head with bricks and his neck and stomach were cut with blades,at least two sources said.

However,unnamed officials of Kot Lakhpat Jail were quoted by Pakistani TV news channels as saying that only two prisoners — Amer Aftab and Mudassar — were involved in the attack.

The officials were also quoted as saying that Sarabjit was attacked when he and other prisoners were brought out of their cells for an hour-long break.

The sources rejected these claims and said Sarabjit was assaulted by at least six prisoners within his barrack.

Aftab,who was sentenced to death for murdering a mayor’s brother,and Mudassar were locked up after the attack and were being interrogated,sources said.

Malik Mubashir,Deputy Superintendent of Prisons in Punjab province,was appointed to head the inquiry into the attack. Mubashir would probe all aspects of the incident and ascertain whether some jail officials may have been involved or linked in any way to the attack on Sarabjit. He will also ascertain whether the attackers were motivated by “religious elements”,the sources said.

Pak failed to provide security,says lawyer

Indian death row prisoner Sarabjit Singh had spoken of a threat to his life from a fellow prisoner after the execution in India of Afzal Guru but Pakistani authorities failed to provide him adequate security,his lawyer said today.

“Sarabjit told me and a CID (Crime Investigation Department) official after the execution of Afzal Guru that a prisoner in Kot Lakhpat Jail had issued death threats. I brought this to the knowledge of prison authorities and the Punjab Home Department but they did not beef up his security,” Awais Sheikh,Sarabjit’s counsel,said.

When Chamel Singh,another Indian prisoner in Kot Lakhpat Jail,died after allegedly being assaulted by prison staff in January,Sheikh filed an application in the Lahore High Court seeking stringent security for Sarabjit.

“The jail authorities are responsible for the attack on Sarabjit. Where were the jail staff when he was attacked?” Sheikh said.

Leading rights activist Ansar Burney too said that he had written to the President,Prime Minister and federal Interior Ministry in January to increase security for Sarabjit after Chamel Singh’s death.

“There were serious threats to Sarabjit. After Chamel Singh’s death,I alerted authorities that he may be in danger,” Burney said.

“This was a murderous attack and the outcome of a conspiracy. How can a death row prisoner,who is held in strict security,be attacked?”

Burney,who frequently visits jails across Pakistan to take up the issues of inmates,described the section of the jail where Sarabjit was being held as a “jail within a jail”.

He said: “Where did the other prisoners get the bricks and blades that they used to attack Sarabjit?”

Burney said he believed that the conspiracy to target Sarabjit might have its roots in the “Talibanisation” creeping across Pakistan. He said he will approach the President with a fresh petition seeking Sarabjit’s release and repatriation.

India should ‘warn’ PaK: BJP

NEW DELHI: The BJP Friday reacted strongly to the attack on Sarabjit Singh,demanding India should take strong note and “warn” Pakistan. “Pakistani establishment has been hijacked by terrorists. The attack on Sarabjit is unfortunate especially since his sister had written to the government warning about threat to Sarabjit’s life,” said party Vice-President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi adding,“India should take strong note and warn Pakistan”.

Sikh students’ body condemns attack

JAMSHEDPUR: All India Sikh Students Federation Friday condemned the attack on Sarabjit Singh. Its Jharkhand-Bihar unit president,Satnam Singh Gambhir,said the Centre should “mount pressure on Pakistan” to initiate stringent action against the culprits.

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