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Stop playing petty politics on Sarabjit, says Rajeev Shukla

IANS  New Delhi, April 29, 2013
First Published: 13:42 IST(29/4/2013) | Last Updated: 13:44 IST(29/4/2013)

Parties should not play petty politics, but come together to provide relief to the family of Indian death row prisoner Sarabjit Singh in a Pakistani jail, minister of state for parliamentary affairs Rajeev Shukla said on Monday.


"Some people are trying to make political gains out of this issue. We should work together and provide relief to him (Sarabjit) and his family instead of indulging in petty politics," Shukla told reporters.

He said that the Indian government was working hard and making all the required efforts in the case.

"The officials of the Indian High Commission in Pakistan are in constant touch with the Pakistani authorities, and are visiting the hospital regularly," he said.

Information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari also said that political responses to the murderous attack in the Lahore jail on Sarabjit needed to be cautious.

"Whatever happened is very unfortunate and condemnable, but it would be better if the official reaction on this master comes from the external affairs ministry or the Indian High Commission in Pakistan," he said.

The statements came a day after opposition Bharatiya Janata Party's spokesman Prakash Javadekar said that the central government had failed in offering protection to Sarabjit, and that no action was taken despite the knowledge that the death row prisoner had been threatened several times.

Sarabjit, 49, suffered critical head injuries in an unprovoked and sudden assault by four to five prisoners with bricks and plates in Lahore's Kot Lakhpat prison Friday evening.

He has been on death row in Pakistan since 1990 after being convicted by Pakistani courts for bomb blasts in Lahore and Multan, which left 14 people dead.

Sarabjit's family claims he is innocent, and that he crossed over to Pakistan in August 1990 in an inebriated state, to be arrested there.

Police in Pakistan, however, claim that Sarabjit Singh, known as Manjit Singh, was involved in terrorist strikes.

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