Pakistanis in Punjab prisons to be segregated

Chandigarh, May 5 (IANS) All 57 prisoners from Pakistan lodged in various jails in Punjab will be segregated from the rest of the inmates to ensure their safety, following the recent assault on a Pakistani prisoner in a Jammu jail.

The Jammu prisoner assault came in the aftermath of the brutal attack on Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh in Lahore April 26. Sarabjit died May 2.

Sarabjit Singh, who hailed from Bhikhiwind town of Punjab’s border district of Tarn Taran, was cremated at his hometown May 3. Thousands of people from across the country gathered at the cremation.

Emotions have been running high in the the state over the brutality of the attack with sharpened spoons, an empty tin in which ghee was packaged, and bricks, that left Sarabjit’s skull cracked. The body was returned from Pakistan with vital organs missing.

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has directed prison officials to tighten the security of Pakistani prisoners lodged in the jails across the state, a spokesman said Sunday.

“The chief minister directed officers that foolproof arrangements should be made for the security of over 50 Pakistani prisoners lodged in Punjab’s jails. He said that these jails must be well secured and special measures should be taken to ensure the safety of Pakistani nationals. He directed the officers to keep a strict vigil in jails where Pakistani prisoners have been lodged,” the spokesman said.

Punjab’s Jails Minister Sarwan Singh Phillaur said earlier that the security of all the 57 Pakistani prisoners in Punjab jails had been beefed up. Authorities have imposed curbs on the movement of Pakistani prisoners, for their own safety.

“As a precautionary measure, they are not being allowed to move out of their barracks,” Phillaur said.

The minister said that 28 out of 38 Pakistani prisoners lodged in Amritsar jail have already completed their terms.

Pakistani national Sanaullah was critically injured Friday morning in an alleged assault on him inside Jammu’s Kot Bhalwal Jail by an Indian inmate.

He was admitted to the intensive care unit of the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) here. Doctors at PGIMER said his condition is critical, and he is in deep coma.

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