A two-month delay in the post-mortem of an Indian sikh prisoner, who was allegedly tortured to death at Lahore's central jail, has attracted suspicion of a cover-up.
Chamel Singh, 48, was allegedly beaten to death on January 15 by three jailors for washing clothes in the prison courtyard, reports The Express Tribune.
Singh was tried by a military court in Sialkot under Section 59 of Pakistan Army Act 1951 for spying and was awarded five years in prison.
Two Indian embassy officials received the body from Pakistani authorities at the Wagah border on Wednesday.
According to a Jinnah Hospital official, Singh's body had been lying in their mortuary without a request for a post-mortem examination since January 15.
Advocate Awais Sheikh, who works as a counsel for Indian prisoners in Pakistan, alleged that by delaying Singh's post-mortem report, the Kot Lakhpat prison authorities had tried to hide marks of injuries on his body caused by the beating he was given.
Lawyer Sheikh said that never before had a body of any Indian prisoner faced such a delay in being sent home. He said this delay could mean possible mala fide intention on behalf of the jail authorities, Punjab home department and negligence of the interior ministry.
Sub-inspector Ashraf Khan confirmed that the post-mortem was conducted on Wednesday. A district medico-legal board of four doctors at the Jinnah Hospital in Lahore will take a week to prepare their report.
Meanwhile, sources revealed that an investigation by the Federal Investigation Agency and another intelligence agency had confirmed that Singh was tortured to death. They said authorities were causing a delay to hide marks on his face and feet.
The three Kot Lakhpat officials who allegedly beat Singh were identified as havaldars Muhammad Sidique and Muhammad Nawaz and assistant superintendent Nasir Nawaz.