Parliament expresses shock, sorrow over Sarabjit’s death

New Delhi, May 2 (IANS) Expressing deep shock and sorrow at the death of Sarabjit Singh, both houses of parliament Thursday condemned the “inhuman treatment” meted out to him in a Pakistani jail.

“This house expresses its deep sense of shock and sorrow on the demise of Sarabjit Singh, an Indian citizen in Jinnah Hospital, Lahore, in Pakistan, after he was brutally assaulted by fellow inmates in a Pakistani jail,” said identical statements read in both houses.

The statement was read out by Speaker Meira Kumar in the Lok Sabha, and Chairman M. Hamid Ansari in the Rajya Sabha.

“The house condemns the inhuman treatment meted out to Sarabjit Singh in a Pakistani jail and hopes the culprits will be brought to book,” said the resolution.

Both houses conveyed condolences to the bereaved family and stood in silence for a minute as a mark of respect to Sarabjit Singh, who was on death row in Pakistan and died early Thursday of wounds sustained during an assault in prison April 26.

In the Rajya Sabha, speaking after the introduction of the Finance Bill, several members urged the government to take a tough stand against Pakistan on Sarabjit Singh’s death.

“This is a day of deep grief and anger. The way Sarabjit has been killed, the Pakistan government found an alternative to the execution of a death sentence,” Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said.

He blamed the government for being weak in its foreign policy, which gave Pakistan the courage to do this.

“Even a bird cannot go into the prison cell where those with death sentences are kept. It could not have happened without the involvement of administration, and government… We need to introspect how weak our foreign policy is,” Jaitley said.

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