10 developments

Sarabjit Singh's family visits him at Lahore hospital amid diplomatic standoff

Lahore/New Delhi:  Pakistan has stopped consular access to Sarabjit Singh, the Indian prisoner who is at a Lahore hospital in critical condition after being brutally attacked by a group of prisoners in jail on Friday, Indian government sources have said. They said Indian diplomats are not being allowed to visit Sarabjit, who is in deep coma and on ventilator support at the state-run Jinnah Hospital.
Here are 10 developments in the case:
  1. The Pakistan government has reportedly said that consular access was allowed for a single meeting only, since the hospital is now being deemed a sub jail. The diplomats had visited Sarabjit late on Friday night. (Read)
  2. India has asked Islamabad for regular access to Sarabjit, citing "humanitarian grounds." That request is being processed, Pakistan's Foreign Office told NDTV. (Watch)
  3. Sarabjit's family visited him at the Jinnah hospital where he is admitted. "Sarabjit Singh's face is swollen, he was beaten by iron rods... He is unconscious, in a very critical condition... I was in hospital for 10 minutes and spoke to the doctors," his sister Dalbir Kaur told NDTV.
  4. One or two members of Sarabjit's family will be allowed to stay with him at the hospital. "It is sad we have come to see him under the current circumstances. It is the second time I'm coming to see my father. I met him in jail the first time, now I am seeing him in hospital. I'm really sad but I will be happy to see my father," said his daughter Poonam Kaur.
  5. India has offered all necessary medical assistance to Sarabjit, who, his lawyer said, is "in coma and is critical. 60 per cent of his brain is damaged... his backbone is broken."
  6. Sarabjit was assaulted at the Kot Lakhpat Jail, where he has been lodged since 1990, on Friday evening reportedly by six prisoners in his cell. They reportedly attacked Sarabjit with bricks and a blade. (Read)
  7. Two prisoners have been booked for attempt to murder. Four jail officials, including the warden, have been suspended.
  8. His family has claimed that they had reported to the Indian government earlier this year about a threat to Sarabjit's life. "My father told us he was being threatened from Pakistan after Afzal Guru's hanging. He feared for his life... We had told the Home Minister and the Minister of External Affairs... no action was taken," said Sarbajit's daughter, Swapandeep Kaur, in tears.
  9. A distraught Ms Kaur has also alleged that the attack was premeditated and that jail authorities were involved. (Watch)
  10. Sarabjit, 49, is on death row in Pakistan, which accuses him of being responsible for bomb blasts that killed 14 people in that country 23 years ago. His family claims that he crossed over to Pakistan from his border village in Punjab in a drunk state in 1990 and had nothing to do with the blasts he is accused of.
Story First Published: April 28, 2013 14:47 IST

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