Pak Foreign Office confirms attack on Sarabjit Singh

Sarabjit is in a 'deep coma' after suffering a skull fracture,say sources.

Written by PTI | Islamabad | Published: April 27, 2013 8:06:45 pm

Indian national Sarabjit Singh sustained head injuries in a “scuffle” with other prisoners in a Lahore jail and was admitted in an unconscious state to hospital,where doctors were trying to revive him,Pakistan’s Foreign Office said today.

In the first official statement from the government on the incident,the Foreign Office confirmed that Sarabjit,49,was on a ventilator at Jinnah Hospital in Lahore.

It said he was “immediately evacuated” to hospital and provided emergency medical assistance.

“As a result of a scuffle between prisoners at the Kot Lakhpat Jail,Lahore,yesterday,Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh suffered head injuries which rendered him unconscious. Doctors and medical staff at the hospital are working round-the-clock to revive the prisoner,who remains unconscious and on a ventilator,” said the statement issued by the Foreign Office spokesman.

“On hearing of the incident and in view of its humanitarian nature,the government of Pakistan provided timely consular access and permitted two officials of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad to travel to Lahore and visit the prisoner late last night,” the statement said.

The medical staff of Jinnah Hospital and officials of the government of Punjab province had been “forthcoming in providing all assistance” to the Indian officials and updated them on the medical condition of Sarabjit,it said.

The Foreign Ministry had instructed the Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi to “facilitate provision of visas to family members of Sarabjit Singh who may wish to visit him during his hospitalisation”.

The statement further said the Home Department of Punjab and authorities of Kot Lakhpat Jail were investigating the matter.

Sources said Sarabjit was brutally assaulted by at least six prisoners within his barrack in the jail yesterday.

He was hit on the head with bricks and his neck and torso cut with blades and pieces of a ghee tin.

The sources said he was in a “deep coma” after suffering a skull fracture.

Doctors will not be able to perform surgery on him till he is stabilised,the sources said.

A murder case was registered against two prisoners — Amer Aftab and Mudassar — involved in the assault.

Sources said Aftab,who was on death row after being convicted of murder,had quarrelled with Sarabjit and attempted to attack him some days ago.

Sarabjit was convicted for alleged involvement in a string of bomb attacks in Punjab province that killed 14 people in 1990.

His mercy petitions were rejected by the courts and former President Pervez Musharraf.

The outgoing Pakistan People’s Party-led government put off Sarabjit’s execution for an indefinite period in 2008.

Sarabjit’s family says he is the victim of mistaken identity and had inadvertently strayed across the border in an inebriated state.

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