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Copy cat attack on Pakistan prisoner after a heated debate in Jammu

It set of another chain of diplomatic and political reactions from either side of the divided subcontinent, on a day Sarabjit was given a state funeral in Bhikiwind, near Amritsar.

May 04, 2013, 04.00 AM IST
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It set of another chain of diplomatic and political reactions from either side of the divided subcontinent, on a day Sarabjit was given a state funeral in Bhikiwind, near Amritsar.
It set of another chain of diplomatic and political reactions from either side of the divided subcontinent, on a day Sarabjit was given a state funeral in Bhikiwind, near Amritsar.
SRINAGAR/CHANDIGARH/NEW DELHI: A Pakistani prisoner in Jammu’s Kot Balwal jail underwent a strikingly similar fate of Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh who died on Thursday. Sanaullah Haq of Sialkot, Pakistan, a convicted terrorist, was attacked with a pickaxe by fellow inmate, Vinod Kumar from Uttarkhand, a convicted ex-jawan, after they had a heated debate.

It set of another chain of diplomatic and political reactions from either side of the divided subcontinent, on a day Sarabjit was given a state funeral in Bhikiwind, near Amritsar. New Delhi called the Jammu incident regrettable and promised to punish the guilty, while Islamabad sought Haq’s urgent repatriation by an air ambulance to Pakistan, something New Delhi had requested in Sarabjit’s case. Three officials of the Pakistan embassy were later given permission to visit Haq in a Chandigarh hospital.

The Union Home Ministry, on its part, issued a second advisory to all prisons to segregate Pakistani prisoners from Indian inmates. Jammu jail Superintendent Rajni Sehgal and a few staffers have been suspended, an inquiry has been ordered and an attempt to murder case registered against Kumar, who is in the jail lockup. Haq was arrested for a bus bombing that killed 10 in Jammu, in 1994.

He was booked in 7 other cases and awarded life imprisonment in two. Known for his long hair and a coloured beard, Haq was in Kot Bhalwal jail for the last 17 years. Kumar was given life sentence by a court martial for killing a colleague in Leh. He has been in jail for 6 years. Haq and Kumar were discussing something, when Kumar lost his temper, picked up a pickaxe and struck Haq’s head. After a profusely bleeding Haq fell, inmates raised an alarm and he was shifted to the hospital dispensary and soon to the medical college.

Doctors conducted a surgery, before he was airlifted to Chandigarh’s Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences. Jammu doctors said the prisoner had suffered sever brain damage but those in Chandigarh added 60-year-old Haq’s condition, though serious, was stable. In another hospital, Amritsar medical college, Dr Gurjit Mann of the forensic department said a second autopsy on Sarabjit found fractures in the skull bone. Doctors said that Sarabjit's body was without stomach, gall bladder, heart and kidneys, when they received it from Pakistan authorities.

Politicians from across the spectrum attended Sarabjit’s cremation, following the frenzy whipped up by the media. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his son Sukhbir Singh Badal were among politicians present.

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