The condition of Sarabjit Singh, the Indian on death row in
Pakistan who was brutally assaulted by fellow prisoners, was
serious and chances of his survival were slim, his doctors said in
Sarabjit, 49, suffered critical head injuries in the assault by
four to five prisoners with bricks and plates in Kot Lakhpat Jail
in Lahore Friday.
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. His family claims he is innocent, and
that he crossed over to Pakistan in August 1990 in an inebriated
state, and was arrested there.
His wife Sukhbir Kaur, sister Dalbir Kaur and two daughters
arrived in Lahore Sunday after grant of visa by the Pakistani
Sarabjit has been intubated and linked to a ventilator in the
intensive care unit of Jinnah Hospital.
"Singh was diagnosed on Saturday with 3/15 glasgow coma scale
(GCS); that elaborates upon his critical state of conscious
level," one of the doctors treating him told Dawn.
He said the GCS was a neurological scale aimed at assessing level
of consciousness after profound head injury and the reading of
3/15 indicated deep unconsciousness.
Sarabjit's treatment has thus turned out to be a major
neurosurgical challenge for the medical board constituted by the
authorities, the doctor said.
Anjum Habib Vohra, senior neurosurgeon and principal of the
Post-Graduate Medical Institute, Zafar Chaudhry, head of Jinnah
Hospital's neuro department, and Naeem Kasuri, neuro physician of
King Edward Medical University are members of the medical board.
The doctor, who was not named, told Dawn that Sarabjit had
suffered a critical bone fracture when he was taken to Jinnah
Hospital's surgical emergency Friday evening.
During clinical assessment, it was established that Sarabjit had
diffused brain injury over a widespread area of his head that led
Doctors also discovered a haematoma (a localised collection of
blood outside the blood vessels) which was greater than three cm,
which indicated that the patient was in dire need of surgical
However, the medical board examined Sarabjit twice Saturday and
doctors were of the view that there was no need for surgical
intervention at this stage.
Sarabjit is being kept in a separate intensive care unit in
unprecedented police security and no one is being allowed to see
him except doctors.
However, first secretary in the Indian High Commission C.S. Das
paid a visit to the hospital.