Pakistan officials visit 'critically' hurt prisoner in India

Sanaullah Ranjay had received serious head injuries after being brutally attacked by fellow prisoner.


Afp May 04, 2013
Sanaullah's body will be handed to Pakistani authorities through the Wagah Border. PHOTO: AFP/ FILE

MUZAFFARABAD/ NEW DELHI: Pakistani embassy officials visited a hospital in north India on Saturday where a Pakistani prisoner was in critical condition in the intensive care unit after being attacked by an Indian inmate.

The Express News had earlier reported that the prisoner had passed away.

Convicted murderer Sanaullah Ranjay suffered multiple head injuries in a prison in India's northern city of Jammu in an apparent tit-for-tat attack after an Indian prisoner, Sarabjit Singh, was fatally assaulted in Pakistan.

On Friday, Ranjay was airlifted to a government hospital in the city of Chandigarh, 250 kilometres (155 miles) north of New Delhi.

A spokesperson for the government hospital said Ranjay was in the intensive care unit and on a ventilator as his condition "continues to remain critical".

The Pakistani High Commission (embassy) officials "came to the hospital and we have given them Ranjay's medical update", added Manju Wadwalkar, the spokeswoman of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research Hospital.

Ranjay, who hails from the city of Sialkot in Pakistan, was attacked by a prisoner who was identified as a former Indian army soldier nearly 24 hours after Singh's death in Lahore.

Singh died on Thursday in Pakistan and was cremated with state honours on Friday in his native village in northwestern India where hundreds of protesters shouted "Down with Pakistan!" as they gathered to pay their tributes.

Singh had been on death row after being convicted by a Pakistani court 16 years earlier for espionage and for his alleged involvement in a string of bomb attacks in Pakistan that killed 14 people in 1990.

His family insisted he was a farmer who became a victim of mistaken identity after inadvertently straying across the border while drunk. India's government also denied he was a spy.

India's foreign ministry said Pakistan High Commission officials had been given daily access to Ranjay.

Pakistan's foreign ministry said earlier in the week in a statement that the "obvious retaliation to the death of Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh is condemnable".

According to the Indian government, 535 Indian prisoners, including 483 fishermen, are in Pakistani jails, while 272 Pakistani prisoners are behind bars in India.

The attack on Ranjay came a day after India ordered tighter security for Pakistanis serving time in Indian jails.

Protests

Two hundred protesters took to the streets in Pakistan-administered Kashmir on Saturday to demonstrate against the attack on Ranjay.

An AFP reporter said around 200 people marched in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-administered Kashmir, against the attack on Ranjay.

The crowds chanted slogans against India and called for "jihad" to force Indian troops out of Kashmir.

They burned the Indian flag and demanded Ranjay should be repatriated to Pakistan. Ranjay is being treated in a hospital in the north Indian city of Chandigarh, where he remains in a critical condition on a ventilator.

Earlier, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, head of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a hardline Islamic organisation blamed for terrorist attacks by India, criticised India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for bestowing state honours on the dead Indian prisoner.

"We are in favour of an action against those who tortured Sarabjit Singh. But there is no justification for Indian propaganda (on this issue)," he told AFP.

Saeed said India should review its own acts and should not promote terrorism in Pakistan.

"Sarabjit Singh admitted in the courts that he is responsible for the bomb blasts and that he was formally supported by India for these blasts. He has taken lives of so many people," he said.

"We don't think that torture in jail is a right thing. Nobody should take the law in hands. But there is no justification for that noise in India at this moment. India should correct its own acts," he said.

The prison violence and resulting protests are likely to cause further friction between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan, whose ties were hit by a border flare-up earlier this year that undermined efforts to build trust.

The neighbours have fought three wars over the disputed region of Kashmir, which they control in parts but both claim in full.

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COMMENTS (86)

Micky | 8 years ago | Reply

@Ahmed Chaudhry: I think India still treats 100s of heart patients every year from Pakistan.

Ram | 8 years ago | Reply

@Ram: Sorry about the typo. I meant to write, "When elephants fight, it's the grass that suffers."

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