Fallout: India reacts to Sarabjit’s death

Published: May 3, 2013
Indian activists pose with pictures of  late Sarabjit Singh as they pay tribute to him in Kolkata on May 2, 2013. PHOTO: AFP

Indian activists pose with pictures of late Sarabjit Singh as they pay tribute to him in Kolkata on May 2, 2013. PHOTO: AFP


India erupted in grief at Sarabjit Singh’s murder in a Pakistan jail, and quick to cash in on the orgy of sorrow, the opposition’s demand for action against Pakistan escalated. Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid warned that the people to people process between India and Pakistan would suffer and the Bharatiya Janata Party said India should withdraw its envoy from Pakistan and declare Sarabjit a martyr.

Other top leaders from the ruling Congress party – Vice President Rahul Gandhi, Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde among others – paid condolences to his family.

In a significant shift from her previous stance that New Delhi had let Sarabjit, his family and India down, his sister Dalbir Kaur said she failed to bring her brother home alive.

Indian news channels outdid each other in demanding punishment for the murderers. More public anger is expected following the funeral.

While top government sources said emotion should not be the instrument of foreign policy, moderating statements were slow to come. The Shiv Sena warned there would be repercussions on Pakistani actors, singers and businessmen who live and work in Mumbai, and security in public places has been stepped up.

As India wept for Sarabjit, the scams that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) is engulfed in – from the allocation of telecom spectrum to illegal allocations of coal mines – were put aside. But this is a temporary reprieve. Next week, as the cases come before court, the government will have a lot to answer for.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 3rd, 2013.

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Reader Comments (11)

  • M Ali Khan
    May 3, 2013 - 10:49AM

    “Pakistani prisoner, attacked in Jammu jail, reportedly in a coma”

    Well India, I hope you are happy now.


  • Vidhya
    May 3, 2013 - 11:34AM

    For some odd reason Indian Gov. Is bent to increase tension. Wouldn’t it be better to calm down n take sensible look. Tit for tat behavior will only bring sorrow n general public of both side of border will be the one to suffer. Indian Intimidation won’t work with Pakistan, Indians must understand.


  • insane
    May 3, 2013 - 11:46AM

    @M Ali Khan: its a reaction to your action. Not justified though and is barbaric in every definition and certainly not proud of it unlike you guys.


  • Faisal
    May 3, 2013 - 1:45PM

    So glorifying a terrorist is ok if he is Indian? Isnt that double standard. If Indians r crying over a terrorist should we call India a terrorist state ?


  • Stranger
    May 3, 2013 - 1:56PM

    Please lets not start tit for tat killings now. It will lead to more mayhem and anarchi.


  • Wasim Ahmed
    May 3, 2013 - 3:14PM

    He was a terrorist… who killed 14 innocent Pakistan” where is justice for those 14 Pakistan’s” you indian’s fools..


  • Sandip
    May 3, 2013 - 7:30PM

    @M Ali Khan: No we are not. Two wrongs don’t make a right. This senseless lynching of each others’ people has got to stop. Why do we always need to find reasons to be killing each other? A big part of the blame lies on the media in the two countries that tries to sensationalize and cash in on such events. Please note that the only people to suffer from all this are the common people like you and me. I don’t know what Pakistan plans to do in Sarabjit’s case, but India must investigate this and bring the culprits to justice. This is not the sort of India that we either desire or are ready to accept.


  • Tom
    May 3, 2013 - 8:04PM

    @M Ali Khan:

    I don’t know about India, but atleast I am.!!!!!!


  • A Choowdhury
    May 3, 2013 - 10:29PM

    @ Faisal – Sarabjit was a case of mistaken identity. Even the person to give witness against him confessed to be forced by the police to provide false account before the court. This is as per your own media.


  • vaibhav , delhi
    May 4, 2013 - 1:26AM

    GOVT’S OF BOTH THE COUNTRIES SHOULD TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION TO STOP SUCH INCIDENTS IN FUTURE……….only judiciary has the right to decide prisoners fate

    many people were expressing their joy after attack on Sarabjeet in pakistan ….now same thing is happening in india after attack on Sanaullah………………….



  • QSA - Karachi
    May 6, 2013 - 2:19PM

    @M Ali Khan:

    Few words may create a big negative momentum which may hurt not only us but our next generation. We should oppose acts of injustice, be it takes place in our home or elsewhere. Let’s sympathize with the families of the two victims.


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