Sarabjit’s family all set to leave for Lahore

Amritsar, April 28 (IANS) The family members of Indian death row prisoner Sarabjit Singh, who is in coma after a murderous attack on him by fellow prisoners in a Lahore jail, will cross over to Pakistan Sunday afternoon to visit him in hospital.

The family was headed for Harmandir Sahib, the holiest of Sikh shrines here, popularly known as Golden Temple, Sunday morning to offer prayers before leaving for the Attari-Wagah international border between India and Pakistan, 30 km from here.

“We did not want to go to Pakistan in these circumstances. We are praying that he (Sarabjit) recovers fast. We want to bring him back to India for treatment,” Sarabjit’s daughter Swapandeep said.

She said the family has been granted visas for 15 days to visit Pakistan.

The Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi issued the visas to the family Saturday evening as a special case.

“We are hoping that he will recover and we will not have to get our visas extended,” Swapandeep said.

She demanded that Sarabjit be shifted from the Lahore’s Jinnah Hospital to a better facility.

“We are very concerned about his condition. The authorities should immediately shift him to a good hospital with better facilities. This (Jinnah) hospital does not have adequate facilities,” Swapandeep said.

Four of Sarabjit’s family members, including his sister Dalbir Kaur, wife Sukhpreet Kaur and daughters Swapandeep and Poonam, will cross over to Pakistan on foot from the Attari-Wagah joint check-post.

“We are hoping for the best. We will be quite satisfied to be around him at this time,” Dalbir Kaur told IANS.

Doctors, according to reports, said that Sarabjit was “critical” and in “deep coma”.

Sarabjit suffered critical head injuries in an unprovoked and sudden assault by four to five prisoners with bricks and plates in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat prison Friday evening.

He has been on death row in Pakistan since 1990 after being convicted by Pakistani courts for bomb blasts in Lahore and Multan, which left 14 people dead.

Sarabjit’s family claims he is innocent, and that he crossed over to Pakistan in August 1990 in an inebriated state, and was arrested there.

Police in Pakistan, however, claim that Sarabjit Singh, known as Manjit Singh, was involved in terrorist strikes.

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