VIPs throng Sarabjit Singh’s cremation

Bhikhiwind (Punjab), May 3 (IANS) They may have failed to secure his release but VIPs of all shades came together here Friday at the cremation of Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh who was beaten to death in Pakistan.

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi flew into this Punjab town from New Delhi. He got off from his car and walked some distance to reach the cremation ground.

Gandhi remained with Sarabjit’s sister Dalbir Kaur for some time just before she lit the pyre of the brother for whose life she fought bravely over the years.

The Congress leader placed a wreath on Sarabjit’s coffin. Before the pyre was lit, he walked back to it and placed firewood on it.

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal was the first to place a wreath on Sarabjit’s body. He was followed by his son and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.

A number of cabinet ministers, members of parliament and legislators of the ruling Akali Dal-BJP alliance also placed wreaths.

Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur also attended the cremation. Punjab Congress president and MP Pratap Singh Bajwa was also present along with other party MPs and legislators.

The 49-year-old Sarabjit was accorded a state funeral. He received fatal injuries in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat Jail April 26 when he was brutally assaulted by fellow prisoners with bricks and sharp-edged things.

He was declared dead in Lahore’s Jinnah Hospital early Thursday. His body was brought in a special Air India flight from Lahore to Amritsar Thursday evening.

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