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Indian electrocuted in Karachi jail

world Updated: Jun 24, 2008 03:06 IST

An Indian fisherman died after being electrocuted in a jail in the Pakistani port city of Karachi on Monday, prompting a human rights activist to demand an inquiry into the “mysterious circumstances” of his death.

Bhagwan Das Majithia, 25, was electrocuted when he touched a pipe in a bathroom on Monday morning, Landhi Jail Superintendent Nusrat Sanghan said. Majithia, a resident of Gujarat, was arrested along with 16 other fishermen on April 24 for illegally fishing in Pakistani waters.

He is the second Indian prisoner to die within four months while being held in Landhi Jail. Laxman Kanji, a 40-year-old fisherman, died of cardiac arrest after being rushed to hospital from the prison on March 20.

Earlier reports had said Majithia died of an electric shock he suffered while switching on a washing machine. Majithia had gone along with other prisoners to wash clothes when the incident occurred, TV news channels reported.

Former human rights minister Ansar Burney said he had asked authorities to conduct a probe as Majithia had died in “mysterious circumstances”.

“This man was a prisoner and it is hard to believe a prisoner can die of an electric shock. It is not as if he was at home or at his workplace and could have been exposed to electrical equipment that could have caused his death,” Burney told PTI. “I have asked authorities to ensure that Majithia’s death is investigated to find out what happened.”

India and Pakistan frequently detain each other’s fishermen for violating maritime boundaries. Pakistan last month freed 99 Indian prisoners, including 96 fishermen.