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HindustanTimes Wed,01 Oct 2014

Sarabjit to get state-level funeral: Punjab government

Agencies  Chandigarh, May 02, 2013
First Published: 08:26 IST(2/5/2013) | Last Updated: 08:40 IST(2/5/2013)

The Punjab government on Thursday announced that Sarabjit Singh, an Indian prisoner who died in a Lahore hospital after a brutal attack on him, would be given a state-level funeral after his body is handed over and brought back to India.

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Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, in a statement, said that Sarabjit Singh would be given a state-level funeral after his body is brought in Chandigarh. He expressed anguish over the death of Sarabjit.

Badal also criticised the Centre's approach towards the matter.

"Government of India too dithered and dilly-dallied in reacting to the attack on him (Sarabjit). Was enough done to save him? Steps by government of India to secure his release earlier were weak and totally inadequate," he said in a statement.

Badal asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take highest diplomatic initiative to bring Sarabjit's body back to Punjab.

Deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal also announced that both daughters of Sarabjit Singh would be given government jobs.

The chief minister urged the central government to raise the issue of Sarabjit's death at the international level.

Sarabjit, 49, had suffered critical head injuries after an unprovoked and sudden assault by five to six prisoners April 26 in the Kot Lakhpat jail.

Sarabjit, a resident of Bhikhiwind town in the border district of Tarn Taran, was 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 claimed that he was innocent and was arrested when he crossed over to Pakistan in an inebriated state.

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

(With PTI and IANS inputs)

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