Sarabjit Singh to be cremated in his ancestral village in Punjab today

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A special aircraft carrying the body of Sarabjit Singh, the Indian prisoner who died at a Lahore hospital today, landed in Amritsar shortly after 7:30 pm tonight. The lack of basic paperwork had delayed the plane's take-off from Lahore airport by over two hours. India is extremely upset about the delay.
Here are 10 developments in the case:
  1. Hundreds of grieving people waited for hours with Sarabjit Singh's family to receive his body. Minister of State in the External Affairs Ministry Preneet Kaur represented the government at the Amritsar airport.
  2. After a ceremony at the Amritsar airport, Mr Singh's body was taken to his ancestral village Bhikhiwind in a chopper. The body was later taken to Patti where an autopsy will be conducted tonight. The cremation will take place at Bhikhiwind tomorrow at 2pm.
  3. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has demanded that "criminals responsible for the barbaric and murderous attack on Sarabjit must be brought to justice." Sarabjit Singh was attacked with bricks by six men in jail on Friday evening and was brought comatose to hospital, where doctors warned that he was unlikely to recover. He died at 12.45 last night.
  4. The PM said in his statement that, "It is particularly regrettable that the government of Pakistan did not heed the pleas of the government of India, Sarabjit's family and of civil society in India and Pakistan to take a humanitarian view of this case." 
  5. The Indian government had made three formal appeals to the Pakistan government since the attack on Friday, asking for Mr Singh to be sent home for treatment. The government said today, "This was, put simply, the killing of our citizen while in the custody of Pakistan jail authorities."
  6. The Indian Parliament condoled Mr Singh's death in a resolution.
  7. An emotional Dalbir Kaur, Mr Singh's sister, has accused the Pakistan government complicity in the fatal attack on the 49-year-old. "Pakistan stabbed India in the back," she said in Delhi. (Read)
  8. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi visited Mr Singh's family in Delhi today and was seen hugging Dalbir Kaur. He reportedly wept. (Read)
  9. Two prisoners on death row in the Kot Lakhpat  jail have been charged with Sarabjit Singh's murder. The chief minister of Punjab province in Pakistan has announced a judicial inquiry. In a statement, Pakistan said Sarabjit's death was an "unfortunate incident."
  10. Mr Singh had been in jail for the last 22 years after being convicted of terrorism charges. He was given the death sentence in 1991 for bombings a year earlier in Lahore and Faisalabad in which 14 people were killed. His family says his conviction was a case of mistaken identity.


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