India assures help to Pakistan in Sanaullah case

New Delhi, May 9 (IANS) India Thursday assured Pakistan that it would make all necessary arrangements to hand over the body of Pakistani prisoner Sanaullah, who died Thursday morning following an attack in Jammu jail, but sidestepped the demand for an international probe into the incident.

“We tried to take all necessary measures medically and otherwise to save the Pakistani prisoner Sanaullah Ranjay. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts he succumbed to the injuries and died in the hospital today (Thursday) morning and we have informed the Pakistani authorities about it and are in touch with them,” ministry of external affairs (MEA) spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said.

“Our understanding is that they (Pakistan government) would request for his body to be sent back and I would like to assure that we will make all necessary arrangements to facilitate that request,” Akbaruddin said.

“They may send a flight. We are waiting for the details of the flight to process it and to facilitate in that endeavour,” the MEA spokesperson added.

Sanaullah, who had been at the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) hospital after being attacked by a fellow inmate at Jammu’s Kot Bhalwal jail May 3, died just before 8 a.m. Thursday.

The Pakistani had been in deep coma since he was flown to Chandigarh from Jammu last Friday.

Sanaullah had suffered renal failure Wednesday.

The attack on Sanaullah took place a day after Sarabjit Singh, an Indian prisoner in Pakistan, succumbed to grievous injuries following a vicious assault in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat Jail.

Asked about Pakistan’s demand for an international probe into the incident, Akbaruddin said India had already conveyed that the two countries should sit together and take forward the recommendations of joint judicial panel.

“I think sometime ago we had indicated following the tragic incidents where two Indian prisoners were killed and the injury to a Pakistani prisoner last week, that India and Pakistan should sit together and work out to take forward what the joint judicial committee had recommended. We look forward to a response from Pakistan and we intend to take that further,” Akbaruddin said.

India had launched the bilateral mechanism of the judicial committee over concerns for the safety of Sarabjit Singh in Kot Lakhpat Jail following the death of another Indian, Chamel Singh in the same jail in January.

Sanaullah was arrested in 1996 and charged with involvement in a bomb blast at Katra near the Hindu shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi in 1994 which left 10 people dead. He was serving life term in the Jammu jail.

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