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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Sep 2014

As Sarabjit battles for life, family to leave for Pakistan tomorrow

Aseem Bassi, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, April 27, 2013
First Published: 15:56 IST(27/4/2013) | Last Updated: 17:10 IST(27/4/2013)

As Sarabjit Singh battles for life in Lahore's Jinnah Hospital, his family has got all the more desperate to meet him and have packed up their bags to go to Pakistan on Sunday morning.

The family of Sarabjit Singh cancelled their visit to Delhi, for which they were scheduled to leave on Saturday evening, after receiving a confirmation that their visas have been issued.

Dr Raj Kumar Verka, vice chairman of the National Commission for SC/ST, who had taken the passports of Sarabjit's family to Delhi, informed that the visas have been issued by Pakistan and that is the reason that they have been asked to stay in Amritsar.

With bags packed, the family of Sarabjit including his sister Dalbir Kaur, wife Sukhpreet Kaur and two daughters Swapandeep and Poonam will be leaving for Pakistan on Sunday morning through the Attari Border.

"This is some relief for us. We were very much worried but now with visa given to us, we are hopeful to meet my father tomorrow," said Swapandeep, elder daughter.

Glued to television since Saturday morning, Dalbir Kaur's health deteriorated after news came from across the border that Sarabjit is in 'deep coma' and was put on ventilator with extremely critical condition.

The family, that has been camping since early morning at the residence of Dr Raj Kumar Verka, repeatedly stressed that Sarabjit was attacked under a conspiracy and Pakistan needs to probe it deeply.

"This brutal attack on my brother is a planned conspiracy and we want a deep probe to be done to find out the real motive. My brother has been saying since sometime that his life was under threat and we had raised the issue with Indian government too. But nothing much was done."

My brother has already spent 22 years in jail and that has weakened him badly. Now this attack on his life will worsen his physical condition, she said.

After having talks with Sarabjit's lawyer Awais Sheikh in Pakistan, Dalbir Kaur said, "My brother's condition is very serious. I have come to know that the Jinnah Hospital is not fully equipped of handling such serious cases. We want that Sarabjit be shifted to a better hospital."

Dalbir Kaur also commented that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who has termed the incident 'sad', must have woken up earlier.

Speaking further on the attack on Sarabjit, elder daughter Swapandeep said, "My father had written to us earlier also that he was being mentally tortured and given poison. Ever since Afzal Guru was hanged, my father claimed that he was facing further threats. Even an inmate had threatened to stab him."

Swapandeep Kaur said, "Had the Pakistan government reacted in time and Indian government also taken up the matter strongly, my father would not have been struggling for life. I just want to go and see my father"

Verka, who was talking to people of Indian High Commission in Pakistan said, "We are in regular touch with officials there regarding the health of Sarabjit."


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