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Sarabjit Singh files fresh clemency appeal

world Updated: May 29, 2012 11:43 IST

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Death row prisoner Sarabjit Singh, convicted for alleged involvement in bomb attacks in 1990 in Pakistan, has sent a fresh clemency appeal to President Asif Ali Zardari, a media report said on Tuesday.

This is the fifth mercy petition from Sarabjit, who was sentenced to death for alleged involvement in a string of bombings in Punjab in 1990 that killed 14 people.

The 49-year-old Indian is currently being held at Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore and has been on death row for over 20 years.

Sarabjit's fresh petition, which includes a document with the signatures of 100,000 Indians, urges Zardari to reciprocate the recent release of Pakistani virologist Khalil Chishti by India, The Express Tribune reported.

Chishti, who was convicted of involvement in the murder of a man in Ajmer in 1992, was recently freed on bail by India's Supreme Court.

The court subsequently allowed him to visit Pakistan to meet his family.

Attached to Sarabjit's mercy petition are two letters addressed to Zardari by Delhi's Jama Masjid Shahi Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari and Syed Muhammad Yamin Hashmi, the caretaker of the shrine of Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti.

Sarabjit's counsel Owais Sheikh said his client wrote a two-page letter to be sent to the President.

"I've forwarded both the petition and the letter to President Zardari," Sheikh said.

The petition states Chishti's release by India has rekindled hopes for Sarabjit. "This has given my client a new hope for freedom," said Sheikh.