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HindustanTimes Sat,30 Aug 2014

World

Pak's Punjab CM orders judicial inquiry into Sarabjit's death
PTI
Lahore, May 02, 2013
First Published: 14:32 IST(2/5/2013)
Last Updated: 14:35 IST(2/5/2013)

Pakistani authorities on Thursday ordered a judicial inquiry into the murder of Indian death row convict Sarabjit Singh, who died after being comatose for nearly a week following an assault by other inmates of Kot Lakhpat Jail.

Najam Sethi, the caretaker chief minister of Punjab province, ordered the judicial inquiry. He directed officials to ensure that the probe was completed in 15 days.

"Chief minister Najam Sethi has directed the Home Department to prepare terms of reference for a judicial inquiry into the murder of Sarabjit Singh. The inquiry would be completed within 15 days," a Punjab government spokesman told PTI.

The inquiry will be conducted by a High Court judge, state-run Radio Pakistan reported.

Sethi also directed authorities to beef up security for all foreign prisoners in jails across Punjab province, the spokesman said.

The Punjab government has formed an eight-member medical board headed by Umer Farooq Baloch to conduct an autopsy on Sarabjit’s body.

The autopsy is expected to take two hours, said a doctor at Jinnah Hospital, where Sarabjit was being treated.

Sarabjit, 49, died at Jinnah Hospital at about 1 a.m. local time, officials said. He had been in a deep coma since he was assaulted by at least six prisoners within his barrack at Kot Lakhpat Jail on Friday.

Police on Thursday added murder charges to an FIR registered against two death row prisoners – Amer Aftab and Mudassar – booked for attacking him.

No action has been taken so far against officials of the jail for failing to provide adequate security to Sarabjit.

Sarabjit was convicted of alleged involvement in a string of bomb attacks in Punjab province that killed 14 people in 1990 and spent about 22 years in Pakistani prisons.

His mercy petitions were rejected by the courts and former President Pervez Musharraf.

The previous Pakistan People's Party-led government put off Sarabjit's execution for an indefinite period in 2008.

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


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