The sister of alleged Indian spy Kirpal Singh (54) has claimed his death in a Pakistani jail on Monday to be a murder like the Sarabjit Singh case before.
During her protest on Wednesday at the Pakistan border here, Jagir Kaur (55) of Amritsar’s Mustafabad village said her brother had not died of heart failure. Dalbir Kaur, sister of Sarabjit Singh, another Indian terror convict murdered earlier in a Pakistani jail, joined her in demanding an inquiry “before more Indian prisoners in Pakistan meet the same fate”.
“We know nothing is going to come out an inquiry but still we demand justice that eluded us in the Sarabjit case,” said Dalbir Kaur, addressing the relatives of Kirpal Singh who had travelled to the border. The protest outside Integrated Check Post (ICP) was over in 15 minutes, as the protesters were not allowed to go beyond. “The least that Pakistan can do is return the body of Kirpal Singh,” said Jagir Kaur, asking the Punjab government to help.
In 1992, Pakistan caught Kirpal Singh of Gurdaspur district as an Indian spy and convicted him of terror activities (a bomb blast at the Faisalabad, then Lyallpur, railway station). First sentenced to death, his punishment was, later, reduced to 20 years in prison. He was in Kot Lakhpat prison near Lahore since February 29, 1992, and his family had for all these years been asking Pakistan to set him free.
On Monday, he reportedly complained of chest pain and was moved to Jinnah Hospital in Lahore, where doctors declared him dead. The Pakistani authorities have ruled out foul play.
Dalbir Kaur said she would take the family of Kirpal Singh to external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj in Delhi so that she can convey its demand to Pakistan.
Deserter or spy?
Gurdaspur: The family of Kirpal Singh want his body brought to his Mustafabad village near here. It says he was not a spy but an army deserter-turned-labourer.
However, Mustafabad villagers who did not want to be named termed Kirpal “a martyr, a spy indeed, caught on his second mission to Pakistan”. “Kirpal’s parents, until they died, used to get financial aid from the intelligence agency,” said of the them. Kirpal was a matriculate from a Gurdaspur school, with three brothers and three sisters. His wife remarried six months after he was captured in Pakistan; they had no children. Kirpal’s elder brother Roop Lal said the man had been writing to the family of his late sibling Jagir Lal as recently as this February.
On learning about Kirpal’s death, late Jagir Lal’s wife, Kanta, and her sons, Ashwani Kumar and Lucky, joined Jagir Kaur on Tuesday near Verka village in Amritsar district to prepare to contact the Indian authorities to get the body for cremation.