Unhappy with Pakistan, Sarabjit’s family returns to India

Attari (Punjab), May 1 (IANS) The family of Indian death row prisoner Sarabjit Singh, battling for life in Pakistan, returned to India Wednesday saying that they were dissatisfied with the way he was being treated and had been kept in the dark about his condition.

Sarabjit’s sister Dalbir Kaur, wife Sukhpreet and daughters Swapandeep and Poonam crossed the international border gates at Attari-Wagah at 11.30 a.m. They were immediately escorted by security officials to the briefing room of the Border Security Force (BSF) at Attari, 30 km from Amritsar.

They had gone to Pakistan Sunday to meet Sarabjit, who has been admitted to Lahore’s Jinnah Hospital in a critical state after being brutally assaulted by fellow prisoners last week in the city’s Kot Lakhpat jail.

The family said they were not only dissatisfied with the way Sarabjit was being treated in Pakistan but also the way in which they were not informed about his condition.

“We were not being given proper information on his health condition by the doctors. It seems they are hiding something from us,” Sarabjit’s sister Dalbir Kaur was quoted as telling his lawyer Awais Shiekh.

Dalbir Kaur has also said she would be heading to New Delhi Wednesday evening to try to meet UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi. She would seek the intervention of the government to bring Sarabjit to India for treatment or send a team of Indian doctors to go and try and save his life.

The family had gone to Pakistan on a 15-day emergency visa. However, they chose to come back on the third day itself as they were kept in the dark about his condition.

Sarabjit, 49, 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 April 26. He has been on ventilator life support since.

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 was arrested when he crossed over to Pakistan in an inebriated state.

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

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