19 years behind bars: Lawyer to seek permission to meet Indian death row convict

Family of Kot Lakhpat jail inmate picks lawyer to plead innocence.


Rana Tanveer June 12, 2012

LAHORE: A lawyer will meet the home secretary on Wednesday to seek permission to meet an Indian prisoner in the Kot Lakhpat Jail sentenced to death 19 years ago.

Advocate Awais Sheikh told The Express Tribune that he had been handed a letter of attorney by the family of Kirpal Singh, 48, to plead his case.

The letter has been sent by Singh’s nephew, Ashwani Kumar.

According to jail record, Singh is a resident of Mustafabad Saidan village in Gurdaspur district. The case against him was registered at Railway Police Station in Faisalabad in 1992. He was sentenced to death on five counts, 60 years imprisonment and a Rs2.7 million fine on May 20, 1993 by an anti-terrorism court in Lahore. He was sent to jail on December 17, 1993. According to the prosecution, Singh was a spy operating in Pakistan as under the name of Fateh Muhammad, son of Muhammad Anwar.

Advocate Sheikh said that he hoped to get permission in a few days from the home department to meet Singh. He said that he would approach a court if the home department refused to give him permission. He said he needed Singh’s to sign a letter of attorney to plead his case.

“I am planning to file a clemency appeal to the president of Pakistan,” he said.

A mercy petition (no 13518) is already pending before the president.

Jagir Kaur, Singh’s sister, said that he was convicted for alleged involvement in bomb blasts.

She said Singh had informed his family in a letter that he had been acquitted by the court on the bomb blast charges but the death sentence for spying remained in place.

She said that he has pleaded his innocence in his letters to the family.

“He wrote that he was captured on the border by Pakistan Army soldiers and was tortured into confessing,” she said.

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