Pakistani policemen stand guard outside the hospital where Indian death row prisoner, Sarabjit Singh is being treated for multiple wounds in Lahore on April 27, 2013. — AFP Photo.

LAHORE: As Indian spy Sarabjit Singh continues to battle for his life at Lahore’s Jinnah Hospital, his family is demanding that the Pakistani government allow them to take him back to India for medical treatment.

But why did he end up in the hospital in the first place? Sources told Dawn.com that Singh’s attackers cited his role as a spy and a convicted attacker as a motive behind the assault.

Singh was attacked by two fellow inmates — Amir Tanba and Mudasir — in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail on Friday afternoon when he was outside his cell for a routine walk along with other inmates also sentenced to death. Two armed jail wardens — Adnan and Safdar — were also present on the spot and tried to stop the attackers.  Neither of the wardens could protect him and were themselves injured in the process. Meanwhile, Singh was brutally attacked with bricks and iron rods, which the assaulters accessed from sewerage lines under construction.

Upon finding out, the jail authorities immediately sent a security force to the trouble spot. The situation was brought under control, and an unconscious Singh was immediately taken to the jail’s hospital, from where he was transferred to Jinnah Hospital. This took almost an hour.

Significantly, it appears this attack did not come out of the blue. Singh’s lawyer, Awais Shaikh, told Dawn.com he had written a number of letters to the prison authorities, as well as high-level government officials on the complaint of his client that certain inmates were threatening him and his life was in danger. Shaikh added that these requests were not heeded, and further went on to allege that the jail authorities were themselves involved in the brutality.

Meanwhile, Singh’s family remains at his bedside. His sister, wife and two daughters were still at the hospital on Monday. Speaking to media representatives, his sister Dalbeer Kaur confirmed that her brother’s condition was still critical.

The Jinnah hospital administration, however, has remained tight-lipped on Singh’s current condition. A senior hospital source told Dawn.com that from day one (Friday), Singh has been unconscious and on a ventilator while doctors do their best to save his life.

The source, requesting anonymity, confirmed that there had been no improvement in Singh’s heath and that medically, his brain was dead while other body parts were functioning. He claimed that Singh had been hit on the head hard, a number of times, which damaged his brain.

The official added that Singh’s survival needed nothing less than a miracle and that there were even fewer chances that his memories and senses would remain in tact. He said that in such cases, patients only survive until the ventilator runs; however, the administration had not yet decided to remove the ventilator.

Investigations kick off

On the directives of the interior ministry, different investigative teams have started probes in connection with the attack. Deputy Superintendent of Police Prisons Malik Mubashir has been assigned as an inquiry officer, who is to submit a report within three days. A second team, headed by Inspector General of Police Prisons Punjab Mian Farooq Nazir has completed its inquiry and recorded the statements of both attackers, other inmates, the injured wardens and other security officials. The second team has already submitted its initial inquiry report to the Punjab home department.

Jail sources claim that the accused attackers had been trying to attack Singh for the past several days. Moreover, sources said the jail authorities’ inquiry report declared the attack as planned.

The Lahore police have also registered a case at the Kot Lakhpat police station under section 324/34 (planned attempted murder in group) under the Pakistan Penal Code on the complaint of Kot Lakhpat Jail Superintendent Waqar Sumra.

After lodging the case, Lahore police also started an official inquiry and got a copy of the jail authorities’ inquiry report on the matter. The police also recorded the statements of around 35 people, including both attackers, both injured wardens, other inmates and jail authorities.

Sources said both Amir Tanba and Mudasir confirmed that it was a planned attack.  Quoting statements of the accused, sources said they had a grudge against Singh over his role as a spy and a convicted attacker.

The Senior Superintendent of the Police Investigation wing Lahore Abdul Rab Chaudhry, who is also heading the police investigation team on the attack on Singh, told Dawn.com that the team had recorded statements of attackers and other relevant people.

He said the police team was waiting to record the statement of the injured which would help shed light on what happened. Rab said the police team was constantly in touch with the doctors in charge of Singh’s treatment.

Responding to a query as to what the police would do if Singh does not survive to record his statement, the SSP said the accused have already confessed to their crime. Rab said in that situation, the police would take the statements of the accused as final and would submit a charge sheet in court declaring them guilty in light of their confessions as well as the statements of eye-witnesses.


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Comments (90) Closed




ajay
Apr 29, 2013 04:31pm
Great job when Pakistanis themselves are not safe how could you expect an Indian in a Pakistani jail to be in safe hands..
Enlightened
Apr 29, 2013 05:00pm
The Pakistan govt would do well to release Sarabjit on humantarian grounds as requested by the Indian govt and let him die in his own country.
JP Singh
May 01, 2013 01:38pm
hi Sam have u seen Sarabjit's confession on TV!!! Agree that he might be a spy! but is that the way Spies and soldiers treated!!!! Paul Singh
NS
May 01, 2013 09:31am
Irrespective of what he has done in the past.. this is not something that should be part of a civilized society.. if the culprits get thru more people will be motivated and it will be wild west everywhere..
Devoutly
May 01, 2013 01:38pm
First of all, he is not a spy, he never was. He inadvertently crossed the border in the night while going back home. The Pakistani authorities arrested him as soon as he was seen in the Pakistani side. It was a mere coincidence that a bomb blast killed 14 people then. The ISI has a long history of indicting innocent Indians of serious charges. Sarabjit became a soft target, and thus, he was framed. I believe, this was another revenge attack after a man who was serving a term of five years in the same jail was killed (he was charged with espionage, another invention of ISI). Why do all the crimes on Indian prisoners happens in Kot Lakhpat Jail?
NS
May 01, 2013 09:38am
even kasab whose videos and pictures of terrorism were available, was not treated like animals.. which pakistani is being tortured by indian authorities?
Sam Veet
May 01, 2013 12:40pm
Its funny how all Indians here believe the story that Sarabjit ventured into Pakistan territory by mistake, and have no regard for the long judicial process that convicted him. You are all biased. I feel sorry about the attack on him and believe the culprits should be brought to book. But am amazed to see how Indians can't even believe their countrymen are capable of doing any thing wrong themselves as they are angels from heaven. A few years ago, another spy was released from Pakistan and walked back into India. Upon his arrival he was interviewed by tv reporters and admitted that he was spying for India. Two days later he changed his statement. Sarabjit Singh is a victim of the decades long hate between India and Pakistan. So were the victims he was convicted of killing. Till this hate dissolves there will be many more Sarabjits, Soldiers and innocent citizens who'll pay for their lives.
BEA
Apr 29, 2013 04:00pm
why is this story been given so much air time in prison thats what happens prisoners do attack each other they do not care hwo you are a fight is a fight at the end of the day, in the UK recently a known pedo and child killer was attacked in jail had his eyes taken out by another prisoner. you do the crime you ahve to pay for it prison is not a 5* hotel peopel are in their to serve a sentance for a crime not on holiday.
open minded
Apr 29, 2013 05:57pm
There is no safe place in PaKi how can u think about Jails
Agha Ata (USA)
Apr 29, 2013 05:51pm
What a ridiculous picture. The guard is standing alert inside the hospital as if terrorists are going to attack Sarabjit Singh any moment in his ward. The poor fellow was beaten up by inmates in the jail. Are you trying to give the impression that we are too careful, very efficient and take care of our patients. being aware that inmates might escape from jail and come in the hospital ward to kill Sarabjit Singh?
Najamuddin
May 01, 2013 04:19am
If it is true that the Jail higher authorities did nothing to save Mr Singh from the brutal attacks in spite of his repeated appeals then the Supreme Court under sue motto action, may please charge all those officials responsible for the deadly attack. And if Mr Singh's life ends with extra-judicial death as a victim of criminal negligence in protecting his life, then his heirs should also be paid compensation suiting to the gravity of the tragedy, in the larger interest of justice and humanity.
indian
Apr 29, 2013 05:20pm
you can not match with us in war ,.time and again it has been proved . it is the only way you can show your frustration
Shastri
Apr 29, 2013 03:35pm
Look, this kind of thing would never have happened during Rehman Malik's tenure. All hell is loose now.
dev
May 01, 2013 12:27pm
He was assumed as a terrorist.
Muslim
May 01, 2013 02:58pm
Due process should be given precedence and judicial declaration should be upheld under all circumstance. If guilty of crime, no matter what country or religion the accused might be of, should be punished.
Absar Kareem (@absarkareem)
Apr 29, 2013 04:11pm
Very sad situation for the injured persons family.
khalid
Apr 29, 2013 03:52pm
We have seen many inquiries in the past... Nothing will gonna happened..
Azmat Khan
Apr 29, 2013 06:40pm
As alleged Sarabjit had been receiving threats but no action was taken by the jail authorities.Sarabjit's case was a special one. Why the threats were ignored? It needs attention.
Amal
Apr 29, 2013 06:43pm
Shame On Pakistan!!!! Shame on you...!!!!... If you can't provide proper justice.. least you could do is to provide security to sarabjit from the barbarians of your soil... But no!!!.. Hope all of you pakistanis feel what his family is feeling...!!!!... Thumbs down!!!!
naveen
May 01, 2013 09:04am
These killers are already on death row and they are still killing - what kind of people are they. I am sure jail authorites were involved and it was a planned attack
naveen
May 01, 2013 09:08am
But you guys have killed him .please let his family take him home .But you lives in a society filled with violence so your only emotions are hatered and violence
chandra
May 01, 2013 09:20am
Agree by your comments. I donot know why Govts on both sides takes so long on such critical issues.
Irrfaan Akhtaar
Apr 29, 2013 07:17pm
Pakistan is stooping so low day by day, that human rights protection is becoming a joke.
JayRaman
Apr 29, 2013 07:18pm
WHAT ELSE CAN YOU EXPECT FROM A LAWLESS CRIMINAL COUNTRY LIKE PAKISTAN
Hindu
Apr 29, 2013 07:35pm
What does it matter...they attackers are already on Death Row...they were gonna hang anywayz...
Naila
Apr 29, 2013 08:05pm
Why didn't the 'armed' guards fire warning shots at the attackers? These 'guards' should be prosecuted too.
Ranjit
Apr 29, 2013 08:28pm
The attack on this man is sooo sad, so barbaric and I am assuming un-Islamic.
Shri
Apr 29, 2013 08:42pm
The attack can not be justified on any grounds whatsoever and it happend right under the close supervision of police is even more baffling. It appears he was allowed to be attacked by fellow prisoners who are on death row. He did not get a fair trial, got locked up for nearly two decades and now mercilessly beaten to near death. This happened to another Indian prisoner also few weeks back.
HK
Apr 29, 2013 09:25pm
I hope Sarabjit get wells soon and Pakistani Govt can show friendship gesture by releasing Sarabjit on humanitarian grounds.
G.A.
Apr 29, 2013 09:48pm
The attackers were already on death row. How do you punish them further?
A Pashtun Kid.
Apr 29, 2013 09:52pm
more shame for already shameless affairs in the country.
Akil Akhtar
Apr 29, 2013 11:21pm
He should have been hanged years ago if we had any guts. He is an indian terrorist who killed innocent Pakistanis.
Hindustani
May 01, 2013 08:40am
What about the gang rape of Mukhtaran Mai and torture of Malala Yousafzai???
Hindustani
May 01, 2013 08:38am
Mr. Ahmed.. look into your own backyard and then speak.. Your Kasab had killed many in full public view.. still he was kept in high security for so many years on taxpayers money in India. Sarabjit was innocent and just crssed the border by mistake and therefore he was forced to sign a confession as your police wanted something to prove their point. No need to brand him a spy. There are lots of your spies in Indian ghettos living a luxurious life.. look at them and then speak..
yaqoot
Apr 30, 2013 01:46am
He can receive medical care in Pakistan there is no need to transfer him to India that is only an excuse to take him away without due process for spying on our country. Lets not forget what Surjeet singh said when crossed the border after release when Pakistan let him go, he admitted to his crime!
Rob
Apr 30, 2013 01:58am
Pakistan being what it is, why seek comment? Sick!
madhukar
Apr 30, 2013 02:12am
this is horrible to understand how pakistan authority even knowing about the potential attack on sarabjit, has taken no step in advance to ensure his safety. its shame on them
Madhav
May 01, 2013 07:46am
Sarabjit may have been a spy or might have accidently crossed the border. However, there is no evidence of his having planned to kill/attack any Pakistani or Pakistani installation. He has already suffered more than 20 years in Jail and his whole life is gone. Considering the above, he could have been released from jail so that he could have escaped this act of cruelty.
V Farooqi
Apr 30, 2013 02:40am
And in doing so the investigation will never go on to involve the Jail authorities as collaborators in crime. I can't think of a criminal keeping grudges against a spy as an acceptable logic. If they were so patriotic, they could have not been criminals themselves.
human first
Apr 30, 2013 03:30am
No surprise to any body in this case. Pakistan has failed to give security to its own people. At the least 5 poeole are killed every day in bombing accros Pakistan. It is just miracle that nothing happened this long time. May be what am going to say is brutal but if with this ends the poor Sarabjiths over deal it is better for him.
concerned212
Apr 30, 2013 04:43pm
Well said. Unfortunately, most of the people posting here are indians.
concerned212
Apr 30, 2013 04:42pm
As a convicted terrorist, he should have been hanged long ago. Although I feel very sorry for the state that he is in at the moment, and the 2 culprits should definitely be punished, Pakistan should NOT let this man go free. He is a terrorist and should be treated no differently than any other terrorist.
S.S.VERMA
Apr 30, 2013 03:57am
Singh
Rai
Apr 30, 2013 04:13am
This is some low for Pakistan security and law and order system where even jails are not safe for inmates. Pakistan has to go as some kind of world record holder in insecurity and threats to lives of its people at each and every nook and corner of its land. I never heard of any such thing happening with a foreign prisoner in recent history. But then, its a country where armies feel proud to behead their counterparts in the name of Infidel so expectations are really low. Good for Pakistan but shame for global human civilizations of 21st century.
ahmadali86
Apr 30, 2013 04:25am
Poor police system of Pakistan took a life again.
SINGH IS KING
Apr 30, 2013 04:29am
He was not spy. Innocent people die every day in Pakistan, this is what Pakistan has been become. And it is even worse that people vote to traders. NO HOPE FOR FUTURE.
Aruni Basu
Apr 30, 2013 04:47am
a good way to dispose off sarbjit,,,when you dont have confidence to bring him before law,like kasab....
SBB
Apr 30, 2013 04:52am
As sad as this incident is, thank you for shedding light on the details. This is probably the most clear cut journalistic story on this case I've read thus far and thank you for that.
Jeet
Apr 30, 2013 06:03am
I wonder why the Pakistani media is giving such coverage to this incident.The poor man would have been hanged anyway. And he was not let down by the govt.of Pakistan or the jail inmates, in reality it was the govt.of India who let him down
Khan
Apr 30, 2013 06:23am
Why dawn is giving coverage to convicted Indian terrorist? Cover the stories of Pakistanis who lost their life due to Indian authorities torture. Shame on Dawn.
Tahir
Apr 30, 2013 06:30am
Political games around the case of Surbjeet Singh, mostly anti Pakistan.He was already convicted and was to be punished as per the Court of Law.
Viv
Apr 30, 2013 06:38am
I wish he had died a natural death or even had got hung. Unfortunately, he had to suffer at the hands of these barbarians. May Ram or Allah give him peace...This is the sorry state of Pakistani affairs today and it will hurt them internally in time to come..
Tahir
Apr 30, 2013 06:41am
This is is operational oversight and the responsible will be taken to task who had been culprit in anti Pakistan game.
Tahir
Apr 30, 2013 06:43am
Although he deserved the similar fate but through Court of Law.
Aadil
Apr 30, 2013 07:07am
Tahir Bhai ,there are hundreds and thousands of prisionors serving their jail sentence in both side's jail .some are in row of hanging .Apart from Sharabjeet did you hear any name for which india is asking pardon or whose family is fighting legal battle ...no..he was a farmer and a victim of mistaken identity..Sarabjit maintains that he has served twenty two years of prison term for a crime he is not guilty of..If suppose he is innocent than .
Wasim Baig
Apr 30, 2013 07:16am
immediately return him in an ambulance/ventilator to india, let him die on his own soil ... hang the ones who did this, we need to cleanse our society of those who take the law in their own hands, change is coming, insha'allah we will build a tolerant society
Rohit
Apr 30, 2013 07:32am
being punished by autorities is one thing and being attacked inside a high security prison is another. By this logic all death row prisoners should be killed inside the prison by fellow inmates.
humanity
Apr 30, 2013 07:34am
Even there is no safety in Jails of Pakistan, what a country, you can not find any other country like this in the whole world. Pakistani people are born to kill only, friend or enemy does not matter
charanjit mann
May 01, 2013 06:10am
so he stayed in Pakistan for over a month,carrying out all the bomb-blasts in different places and times single-handedly. Very believable !!!!!
wasim muhammad
May 01, 2013 06:09am
Sherbajit should be hanged in 2008, he accepted and himself said he is spy, who will help those 14 innocent women and children killed by this spy, did he deserve mercy NO NO NO. We Pakistani have big heart we have release spy Kashmira singh when he crossed boarder he said he was Indian Spy. What none sense, why Pak media giving breaking news for these spy the deserve to be hanged hanged hanged. But his fellow prisoners should not hit him, it is not good, he should not release not send outside Pak for medical treatment. If he survive immediately should be hanged
coovercolly indresh
Apr 30, 2013 08:08am
No one is safe in Pakistan , see plight of minority community in pak. Sarabjit a drunkard crossed in to Pakistan in 1990 from Punjab accidentally. But suspecting him a spy pak police fixed him in bomb blast case , in which his role is suspicious . With this incident it well understood that there is no security for minorities even in Jail. Shame on Pakistan .
KhanChangezKhan
Apr 30, 2013 08:45am
Same in India!!!!!
KhanChangezKhan
Apr 30, 2013 08:47am
Do your own business!!! We know better what to do with Sarabjit Singh being a spy of RAW!!
rahul
Apr 30, 2013 08:56am
Although I am in total accord with your first point but hanging those who did this is not a sign of tolerant society
malik
Apr 30, 2013 09:10am
if we have done proper justice, he would be hanged many years ago.
Ayman
Apr 30, 2013 09:39am
Dear Friend, no one shall win this time if real war got outbreak. so better not to talk about who is up or down. regardless ofd country or army size now the situation is different. So please avoid such hatered comments
Cclements
Apr 30, 2013 10:12am
Very unfortunate indeed, but such things happen in most prisons around the world. It does happen though few and far in between in the US, Australia and the UK too.
Naila
Apr 30, 2013 10:38am
Such incidents happen in prisons all across the world. Before doodling, do some googling!
AHA
Apr 30, 2013 10:39am
Return him to India immediately. That is the only right thing we can do.
Aniket
Apr 30, 2013 10:48am
I respect the intentions behind this post, Mr. Waseem Baig. Am sure the bereaved family would really appreciate such sympathy from the Pakistani side.
Naila
Apr 30, 2013 10:55am
If Sarabjit had been executed right after sentencing, like the Indians did with Afzal Guru, we wouldn't be reading Pakistan-bashing comments by the Indians.
Lion King
May 01, 2013 01:01am
Dawn - In my opinion has been one of the best media house having very high standards of impartial journalism where we get to read news but not views, unlike the ones we have in India where views are forced on to the readers. Full marks to Dawn for job well done.
Lion King
May 01, 2013 12:55am
stay on the subject, stop moving the goal post.
James
Apr 30, 2013 11:07am
He is brain dead.Medically it means he is dead.There is absolutely no chance of him ever recovering.The medical authorities are just keeping him on the ventilator to give the impression that he is alive,and continue the drama.The family of Sarabjit will see him breathing and assume that he is alive.No wonder the doctors did not want to operate on him.After some time we will be told that he died.
Ahmed
Apr 30, 2013 11:10am
we beat up an indian spy..where's the barbarianism in that? He KILLED our people. If it was our spy in india, he wouldnt even have made it to the hospital...
Ahmed
Apr 30, 2013 11:11am
he was not a spy??? really? bet you'll dispute the sky's blue
Vishwajeet(IND)
Apr 30, 2013 11:16am
There are many pakistanis prisoners in Indian jails,,how would you save them ??? oh! sorry i forgot that you don't have care for your country mens..!
Ahmed
Apr 30, 2013 11:16am
dude, you should really try a hand at stand-up comedy...coz you're so funny. Just a word of advice tho, the punch line of the joke comes at the END of the joke, not the first line of the joke
Lion King
May 01, 2013 12:52am
Naila.. Afzal Guru was an Indian National waging war against the Indian dominion, In every sovereign state penalty for such crime is and has been Death. Why would you be concerned about Him in particular ?
Asif
May 01, 2013 12:49am
I think he should send back to India and let him die peacefully surrounded by his love ones..As a human he deserve this. We cant change the past but small gesture like these might have hope for the future.
Raj
Apr 30, 2013 11:56am
I think authorities let this incident happen. They should have provided better security for him as there were threats against him. This unfortunate incident happened because of inadequate security or the jail authorities are in collution with the perpetrators.
nysa
Apr 30, 2013 10:40pm
soo who stopped u people from doing proper justice?how many of ur pakistanis are their in indian jail.we dont throw them to their fellow inmates to get killed.we dont know whether he is guilty or not.but if u says so,agreed...all we demand was a fair execution.but unfortunately ur govt fails to do it and suprisingly u all are too proud of what ur govt s doing.inshort,shame cant be indulged into anyone
ram
Apr 30, 2013 01:03pm
shame on you khan.Rather than preying for his life you are cursing dawn which is a media.You need to be in middle east and stand for the injustice which is not even reported in the press.Big shame on you.People like you are responsible for bad relation of these two wonderful countries.
Pakistani
Apr 30, 2013 01:16pm
Sorry state ?? This is rich coming from Indians who have such high respect for women and 5 year old girls.
Pakistani
Apr 30, 2013 01:16pm
Well said.
vijay,salem
May 01, 2013 10:49am
what about the untold miseries of pakistani women?millions of them.OMG .
Mukul
Apr 30, 2013 01:37pm
Feeling very sad for Sardar Sarabjit Singh... First he landed in Pakistani Jail for mis-identity and now he's battling for life. Get well soon
Sohail
Apr 30, 2013 02:20pm
But it is a sign of just society. Strong crimes demand strong punishments!
Sohail
Apr 30, 2013 02:25pm
Yes, your assumption is correct!
Humanist
May 01, 2013 10:34am
As you are making snide comments, I hope you are aware that as far as treatment of women is concerned your country is worse-off as compared to India. For e.g The World Economic Forum report on Global Gender gap has you at the bottom of the pile just above Yemen. Enjoy your time in your fantasy land!