In January this year Chamel Singh, an Indian prisoner in Pakistan died after he was allegedly assaulted by staff at a prison in Lahore. Now, the murder of Sarabjit Singh has raised concern about the safety of Indian prisoners in Pakistani jails.
There are 220 Indian nationals lodged in various jails across Pakistan, out of which 44 have got consular access. There are 484 Indian fishermen there as well and consular access was given to 27.
The families of Indian prisoners are already a worried lot. Government sources said the judicial committee on prisoners is taking up the issue of safety of Indian prisoners with Pakistan.
Meanwhile, the family of Kirpal Singh, another Indian prisoner on death row in Pakistan, fears for his life and has demanded that he be repatriated at the earliest.
Kirpal Singh hails from village Mustafabad Saidan in Gurdaspur and crossed over inadvertently into the Pakistani territory in an inebriated state in 1991.
“He has been languishing in jail in Pakistan since then,” said Jagir Kaur, elder sister of Kirpal Singh.
“It is high time that he is sent back home, else he might end up suffering the same fate as that of Sarabjit Singh,” she added.
Sources said that Kirpal Singh was convicted by an anti-terrorism court in Lahore. The court acquitted him in cases of bomb blasts and destruction of property in 2005, but upheld the case of spying.
(With inputs from Shaheen P Parshad)