Death-row prisoner: Sarabjeet Singh files fifth mercy petition

Published: May 29, 2012

Sarabjeet Singh, 49, maintains that his was a case of mistaken identity, since even the FIR was not registered in his name. “I have spent 22 years in the prison for a crime I have not committed,” asserts Singh in his petition. PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE: 

An Indian national on death row in a Pakistani jail has filed a fresh clemency appeal to President Asif Ali Zardari.

It is the fifth mercy petition by Sarabjeet Singh, who was condemned to death for his involvement in a string of bombings in Punjab in 1990. Currently, he is imprisoned in Kot Lakhpat prison.

Sarabjeet’s fresh petition, signed by 100,000 Indians, urges President Zardari to reciprocate the release of Pakistani virologist Dr Khalil Chishty by the Indian government. Dr Chishty has been reunited with his family in Karachi.

Attached with the petition are two letters addressed to the president from the chief cleric of Delhi’s Jamia Masjid, Maulana Syed Ahmed Bukhari, and caretaker of the shrine of Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, Syed Muhammad Yamin Hashmi.

According to Sarabjeet’s counsel, Advocate Owais Sheikh, his client also gave a two-page letter to be sent to the president. “I’ve forwarded both the petition and the letter to President Zardari,” Sheikh told The Express Tribune.

The petition, a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune, says that Dr Chishty’s release has rekindled hopes for Singh. “This (Dr Chishty’s release) has given my client a new hope for freedom,” said Sheikh.

Sarabjeet Singh, 49, maintains that his was a case of mistaken identity, since even the FIR was not registered in his name.  “I have spent 22 years in the prison for a crime I have not committed,” asserts Singh in his petition.

The FIR had nominated Manjeet Singh for carrying out four bomb blasts in different cities of Punjab, according to the petition.

Sarabjeet’s counsel maintained that he had documentary proof that his client was in India at the time of bombings. “Manjeet Singh was, indeed, a terrorist but the authorities have mistaken Sarabjeet for Manjeet,” he claimed.

In his letter to the president, Maulana Bukhari pointed out that Sarabjeet’s sister Dalbir Kaur had met him personally and provided ‘vital evidence’ which proved the latter’s innocence.

“Singh should be freed on humanitarian grounds, which will not only help in promoting goodwill between the two neighbours but will also result in promoting communal harmony among Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims of India,” Maulana Bukhari wrote.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 29th, 2012.

Reader Comments (12)

  • Imran
    May 29, 2012 - 6:39AM

    Haha ET is smart !!

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  • Imran
    May 29, 2012 - 6:41AM

    NO. He bombed places. There is no comparison.

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  • realist
    May 29, 2012 - 8:39AM

    So sorry for your plight Mr. Singh. THe indian Govt just left off Christy without negotiating for Singh’s release? What else can you expect from that Italian and her dummy Man Mohan Sing.

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  • sick of this nonsense
    May 29, 2012 - 8:50AM

    22 years of a mans life is punishment enough. Its worse then death. Let him go, justice has been served.

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  • Faesal
    May 29, 2012 - 9:16AM

    Sarabhjeet is a terrorist who is involved in the bombings in lahore killing dozens of people. Sorry india just reciprocated the Kashmir Singh generosity.

    Sarabhjeet shouldn’t receive any mercy. its like us saying release Ajmal Kasab (allegedly Pakistani)

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  • May 29, 2012 - 9:42AM

    when there is evidence that he didn’t do it, then we should let the guy go! its simple isn’t it?

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  • Concerned
    May 29, 2012 - 1:36PM

    No Pakistani terrorist responsible for bomb blasts and killing of thousand of innocent people has ever been convicted so far but an Indian who was convicted due to mistaken identity and without a water tight case against him is rotting for 22 years in jail but still not getting any respite from Pakistan despite Indian govt generosity in several cases related to Pakistan.

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  • J. Simpson
    May 29, 2012 - 3:59PM

    @Faesal:

    People like you belong to the stone age. The man has not been given a due legal process based on the assumption “innocent till proven guilty”. 22 years of imprisonment is a lifetime and, if that person is indeed innocent, as he insists, then it is a shame on the judiciary of Pakistan (which, in any case, is run by all kinds of maverick judges with vested interests). Shame !!

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  • farhan
    May 29, 2012 - 7:23PM

    Get a life – please let the man go. Its enough.

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  • Faesal
    May 29, 2012 - 7:24PM

    @J. Simpson:
    Your arguments hold no weight when you start off with that lame accusations. Perhaps you should come out of your fantasy Disneyland.

    He is convicted terrorist. The notion of innocent till proven guilty is out of question. there aren’t any judicial hearings going on. the case is closed

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  • B.Ally
    May 30, 2012 - 7:53AM

    Sarabjeet has served sentence for a case which was not conclusively proved against him. What purpose we shall achieve by keep him in jail indefinitely when an application for mercy abundantly demonstrates remorse. Let us forget and forgive to move on.

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  • J.Simpson
    May 31, 2012 - 3:53AM

    @Faesal:
    It is not I but you who lives in some dreamland — so wake up, Rip van Winkle, from your hate-mongering dreamland. You have to learn to be civilized and not display your blood-thirsty barbarism. It is no wonder that Pakistan is treated like a pariah by the rest of the world. India was magnanimous to show compassion to Dr.Chisty who was allowed to go to Pakistan by an independent court. We often wonder, both inside and outside Pakistan, whether your judiciary is fair and free. That, like a free media, is an important pillar of democratic and civilized architecture.

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