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Sarabjit shifted from death row cell: Report

world Updated: Oct 28, 2008 16:15 IST

PTI
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Indian national Sarabjit Singh, awarded capital punishment in Pakistan, has been shifted from death row to a normal cell in a Lahore jail, raising hopes that he might not be executed.

Pakistani TV channel Geo news reported that the move may be an indication that the Sarabjit, convicted for triggering blasts killing 14 people in Pakistan in 1990, would not be hanged. However, there was no official word in this regard so far.

Sarabjit, whom Pakistani authorities call Manjit Singh, has been on death row since he was convicted for alleged involvement in four bomb attacks in Punjab province in 1990.

Sarabjit's family, who visited Pakistan this year seeking his release, insists that he was wrongly convicted for the attacks.

His execution, initially set for April 1, was deferred for 30 days by former President Pervez Musharraf. This was done so that the new PPP-led government could review his case following India's appeal for clemency.

After Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani intervened in the matter, Pakistani authorities put off Sarabjit's execution "till further orders".

Pakistan's Supreme Court and Musharraf had earlier turned down Sarabjit's mercy petitions.

Pakistan Law Minister Farooq Naek, who met Sarabjit in Lahore's Kot Lakhpat jail earlier this month, said he had sought the Indian's file from the prison superintendent so that he could study his case.

The 42-year-old has already spent 17 years behind bars.

Leading Pakistani human rights activist Ansar Burney, who earlier played a key role in the release of another Indian prisoner Kashmir Singh, recently asked the Pakistan government to commute all death sentences, including that of Sarabjit, to life imprisonment, saying a majority of death row prisoners had been wrongly convicted.