National

India proves it can be Pakistan’s match any day

A day after Indian prisoner, Sarabjit Singh, died in Pakistan following an attack by jail- inmates; a Pakistani prisoner, Sannaulah Haq, was attacked by an inmate inside Kot Bhalwal jail at Jammu, injuring him critically. Haq, 52, was later shifted to PGI Chandigarh, where he was in deep coma, when the report was last filed.

The incident reportedly occurred when Haq along with other prisoners was working in a garden and entered into an argument with fellow-inmate, Vinod Kumar, an ex-serviceman hailing from Uttrakhand. The argument turned violent and Kumar hit Haq with bricks and shovel on his head. A case was registered against Kumar and he was sent to seven days police custody, May 4.

Two prison officials, including jail superintendent were suspended and a probe ordered. Minister of State for Home, Sajjad Kitchloo said security at all jails in the state has been reviewed to avoid such incidents.

Haq is serving a life-term after being convicted under TADA provisions following his arrest in 1994. He is also the mastermind behind digging of tunnel in Kot Balwal jail when prison authorities had separated Pakistani prisoners from other inmates, reports say, adding after the plan was unearthed, Pakistani convicts and other inmates were kept together to prevent any further plot to escape. Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, addressing Friday congregation here, May 3, urged India and Pakistan to release each other’s prisoners. Expressing his concern and apprehension over safety of Kashmiri and Pakistani prisoners, Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani, May 2, stressed that their safety should be guaranteed. He added there are 535 Indian prisoners in Pakistani jails and 220 vice versa. Condemning Sarabjit’s killing, state government, May 2, said it is hopeful that the incident won’t worsen relations between the two countries.

Independent legislator from Langate, Er Rashid, May 2, said Sarabjit fell victim to hatred between India and Pakistan. He questioned “if Sarabjit is a martyr, how was Afzal Guru a terrorist. Both were sentenced to death by respective Supreme Courts of Pakistan and India.”

Association of Families of Kashmiri Prisoners, May 4, held a protest here seeking shifting of Kashmiri detainees lodged in jails outside Kashmir.     

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 May 2013 on page no. 10

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