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HindustanTimes Wed,24 Sep 2014

Sarabjit's family members arrive in Pakistan via Wagah border

IANS  Attari, Punjab, April 28, 2013
First Published: 13:19 IST(28/4/2013) | Last Updated: 14:16 IST(28/4/2013)

Four members of the family of Indian national Sarabjit Singh, currently in a coma in a Lahore hospital following a brutal assault, crossed over to Pakistan via the Wagah land border crossing on Sunday.

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Sarabjit's sister Dalbir Kaur, wife Sukhpreet Kaur and daughters Swapandeep and Poonam, told the media on the Pakistani side that they would immediately go to Jinnah Hospital to visit him.

Dalbir Kaur, who has travelled to Pakistan in the past to lobby political leaders for the release of Sarabjit, said she and other members of her family were visiting the country in sad circumstances.

"I've come to visit my brother, who is seriously injured and not speaking. I've been told he is in a coma," she said.

She said she had come with the "love and prayers of crores of Indians" and brought along "prashad" from the Golden Temple that she would give to her brother.

Fighting back tears, she said, "I kept telling myself. How can you fall into a coma, Sarabjit? You have a family and you have to come back to your country."

Dalbir thanked the people of Pakistan for their support.

She said Pakistani authorities had granted permission for one member of the family to remain in the hospital and she intended to stay beside Sarabjit.

Foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai has asked Indian High Commission in Islamabad to make appropriate arrangements for their stay in Lahore.

Sarabjit, 49, was admitted to Jinnah Hospital on Friday after he was attacked by at least six other prisoners within his barrack at Kot Lakhpat Jail.

Sources said he was hit on the head with bricks and his face and torso cut with weapons fashioned from spoons and pieces of ghee tins.

The Indian national was convicted by a Pakistani court for alleged involvement in a string of bombing in Punjab that killed 14 people in 1990.

Sarabjit's family says he is the victim of mistaken identity and had inadvertently strayed across the border in an inebriated state.


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