The distraught family of Indian death row prisoner Sarabjit Singh,
who was brutally assaulted in a Lahore jail last week, is likely
to return home Wednesday after doctors have reportedly indicated
that he was "clinically dead".
Raj Kumar Verka, vice chairman of the National Commission for the
Scheduled Castes, said in Amritsar Tuesday that he spoke to
Sarabjit's sister Dalbir Kaur who told him that doctors have told
her that Sarabjit was "brain dead".
"I think that Sarabjit had died earlier. Why did the Pakistan
government have to do this drama (of allowing the family to visit
him in Lahore) when he was already gone? They sought her
permission to remove him from the ventilator," Verka, who was
instrumental in securing visas for four members of Sarabjit's
family from the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi Saturday,
Sarabjit's lawyer Awais Sheikh told a news channel from Lahore
that Sarabjit's sister had expressed the family's desire to return
"After the doctors told her about Sarabjit's condition, she first
told me that they wanted to go back today (Tuesday). But later, in
their hotel, they said that they will go back tomorrow (Wednesday)
morning," Sheikh told the channel.
Sarabjit Singh, 49, was admitted to a Lahore hospital in a
critical condition after a vicious attack on him by fellow
prisoners at the Kot Lakhpat Jail April 26. He has been on
ventilator support ever since.
India Monday appealed to Pakistan for Sarabjit's release even
while a medical board in Pakistan said that he would continue to
get treatment in Pakistan and not shifted out.
The ministry of external affairs in New Delhi had asked Pakistan
to take a "sympathetic and humanitarian" view on Sarabjit.
Dalbir Kaur, Sarabjit's wife Sukhpreet Kaur and daughters
Swapandeep and Poonam, crossed from the Attari-Wagah border
checkpost into Pakistan Sunday afternoon to visit him in a Lahore
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 that he crossed over
to Pakistan in August 1990 in an inebriated state and was arrested
Police in Pakistan, however, claimed that Sarabjit Singh, known
there as Manjit Singh, was involved in terrorist strikes.