New Delhi, May 2 (IANS) There was negligence in the case of murderous attack on Indian death row prisoner Sarabjit Singh in a Lahore jail but no conspiracy or evidence to link it to parliament attack convict Afzal Guru’s hanging, Pakistan Punjab’s caretaker Chief Minister Najam Sethi said Thursday.
“I have not seen any evidence of this sort. I’ve just come in and I’ve not seen the earlier files,” Sethi told CNN-IBN channel in response to a query if the murderous attack last week on Sarabjit was linked to the Feb 9 hanging of parliament terror attack convict Afzal Guru in Delhi’s Tihar Jail.
“I can say there was negligence, but I am not aware of anything else. It has never happened in our jail. It’s very rare for prisoners to attack other inmates inside a jail. Yes, there was negligence at one level. That’s why we have suspended seven jail officials,” he said.
Sethi denied any conspiracy behind the gruesome incident.
“It’s unfortunate this view is held in India. I will be stunned… shocked if an iota of this ever is true. I don’t think this is the case.”
“Everything I read from internal subjects suggests this is an act of two prisoners on death row. You know the mental state of two prisoners on death row and during their interactions with Sarabjit they were together. I don’t think there is an iota of truth in this suspicion,” he said.
Asked about a letter Sarabjit reportedly wrote to his family apprehending a threat to his life, Sethi said: “The jail authorities or the administration were not expecting anything like this. There was not even any hint. They were more worried about terrorism and attack from outside on the jail. It never occurred to us that Sarabjit was in danger at any stage.”
Sethi said the killing was being investigated.
“I’ve ordered an internal inquiry. I can’t share about it. It’s a matter of the foreign office. It’s not just a provincial matter. I’ve also ordered judicial inquiry. Both the home secretary level inquiry and the judicial inquiry will be turned over to the foreign office,” he said.
Sethi expressed the hope that both India and Pakistan would be able to discuss the issue in future.
“There is no reason why at some stage both the countries cannot sit down and discuss this issue,” he said.