AMRITSAR: A Pakistani prisoner who was savagely beaten in an Indian jail in an apparent tit-for-tat assault died on Thursday, prompting Islamabad to demand an international probe into the “heinous” crime.
The dead body of the Sanaullah Ranjay arrived in Pakistan on Thursday, Express News reported. His body was taken to his hometown of Sialkot where the body will be taken through a medical process at the Allama Iqbal hospital.
Arrangements are being made to carry out a postmortem to determine the cause of death and the extent of injuries that Sanaullah had suffered. A medical report will be issued shortly afterwards.
A large number of people turned up to receive his body in Sialkot. Some of the people held rose petals to shower his casket with. Others staged a protest over his murder.
Earlier, doctors treating Sanaullah Ranjay at a government hospital in Chandigarh said the 52-year-old died of multiple organ failure after suffering severe head injuries in last week’s attack at a prison in the northern city of Jammu.
The chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, India’s only Muslim majority state, announced that an inquiry would be held into the May 3 attack on Ranjay, calling it a “matter of deep regret”.
But Pakistani officials said they would not be satisfied by an Indian inquiry into the “extra-judicial killing”, calling instead for an international-level investigation.
Ranjay’s death comes exactly a week after Sarabjit Singh, an Indian who was being held in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat prison after being convicted on espionage charges, died as a result of a savage assault by inmates.
In a statement, the hospital said Ranjay had been declared dead at around 7:00am.
“He had multiple organ failure due to severe head injury. The team of doctors headed by Prof YK Batra tried their best to revive him,” it said.
One of his doctors told AFP on condition of anonymity that Ranjay had died after suffering renal failure on Wednesday night.
The hospital would hand over the body to two of his relatives who had arrived in India on Tuesday “as per the instructions of the government”, the doctor added.
A spokesperson for the Pakistan High Commission said that the Indian government had been asked to immediately release and repatriate the body.
“We are in a shock and deep grief over this barbaric act,” the spokesperson Manzoor Ali Memon told AFP.
“This is an extra-judicial killing of an innocent citizen of Pakistan right under the noses of the Indian jail authorities.
“We have demanded an inquiry of international level to find out the culprits and expose the connivance.”
The Pakistani foreign ministry said that the “brutal” attack was “a matter of deep concern” to the government in Islamabad.
“We have conveyed our concern to the government of India in this regard and demanded that an investigation into the incident be held and perpetrators of this heinous crime be brought to justice,” it said in a statement.
“The prime minister of Pakistan has also called upon the government of India to ensure the safety and security of all Pakistani prisoners in Indian jails,” it added. The premier later announced Rs1 million for the family of Sanaullah.
High Commissioner Salman Bashir, who is Pakistan’s most senior diplomat in India, visited Ranjay in hospital on Monday when he called on New Delhi to free 47 jailed Pakistanis whom he said had completed their sentences.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah promised that those responsible for Ranjay’s death would be held accountable.
“While the inquiry will fix responsibility for any dereliction of duty, the fact that this happening at all is a matter of great regret,” he wrote on Twitter.
The attack on Ranjay has helped fuel tensions in Kashmir, the picturesque but violence-torn Himalayan region which is claimed by both countries.
Demonstrators took to the streets in Pakistan-administered Kashmir last weekend, with more than 200 people marching in the city of Muzaffarabad, calling for a “jihad” to force Indian troops out of Kashmir.
Nuclear-armed India and Pakistan, whose relations were hit by a border flare-up earlier this year, have fought two of their three wars over Kashmir.
New Delhi says 535 Indian prisoners, including 483 fishermen, are in Pakistani jails, while 272 Pakistani prisoners are behind bars in India. Pakistan though estimates there are between 500 and 600 prisoners in Indian jails, including fishermen and civilians.