People carry the coffin of Shakirullah for burial at Daska on Sunday.—Dawn
People carry the coffin of Shakirullah for burial at Daska on Sunday.—Dawn

SIALKOT: Shakirullah alias Mohammad Ilyas, the Pakistani prisoner who was lynched in an Indian jail, was laid to rest in the ­graveyard of his native ­village Jessarwala, Daska tehsil, on Sunday with ­official protocol.

MNA Sahibzada Syed Ifti­kharul Hassan Shah, Punjab Minister for Envi­ron­­ment Bao Mohammad Rizwan, MPAs Mian Zeeshan Rafiq and Chaudhry Naveed Ashraf, Sialkot Deputy Commissioner Dr Syed Bilal Haider, Gujranwala Re­­gional Police Officer Tariq Abbas Qureshi, PTI’s central Punjab president Umer Dar and a large number of people, including traders, journalists, lawyers and students, attended his funeral prayers.

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The people threw rose petals on the ambulance that was carrying Shakir­ullah’s coffin wrapped in Pakistani flag as it arrived at the graveyard for burial. The body was brought to the village from Wagah border.

Talking to journalists at the graveyard after the burial, the family members of Shakirullah demanded that Prime Minister Imran Khan take the case to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Shakirullah’s neighbour, Ali, said: “I have known Shakirullah since his childhood and he was not mentally stable. He was a harmless man.”

Before Shakirullah’s body was shifted to his village for burial, a panel of senior doctors at the Government Allama Iqbal Memorial Hospital, Sialkot, conducted autopsy.

Requesting anonymity, a senior doctor said that “almost the whole of Shakirullah’s body was badly crushed, especially his head, ribs, arms, backbone and legs with stones, sticks and bricks”. The doctors hardly found any part of the body that was not tortured.

MNA Iftikharul Shah, after attending the funeral prayers, condemned the murder of Shakirullah.

“The world must take serious notice of this inhuman brutality and play an effective role in halting India from such inhuman practices and extrajudicial killings,” he said.

Punjab Minister for Environment Bao Rizwan said Shakirullah’s murder had raised the curtain from the human rights situation in Indian jails. He said the whole of the Pakistani nation strongly condemned this murder.

PTI central leader Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan de­­manded that the United Nations take notice of the ­brutal murder of the Pakistani prisoner.

India had handed over Shakirullah’s body to Pakistan Rangers officials and his family at the Wagah border on Saturday — 11 days after his killing in the Jaipur jail by the infuriated Indian prisoners.

They had stoned Shakir­ullah to death after the Pulwama attack in India-held Kashmir.

Shakirullah belonged to a Christian family. He had embraced Islam in 1997.

The Indian Border Security Force had arrested him in 2003 after he had mistakenly crossed the Working Boundary through Bajwat sector of the Sialkot.

According to Indian daily The Hindu, Shakirullah was undergoing life imprisonment after his conviction in a terror-related case in Jaipur in 2017.

Foreign Office spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal, while announcing the repatriation of Shaikrullah’s body on Sunday, had said that the Indian government had not conducted post-mortem of the deceased to determined the cause of death and a judicial inquiry into the incident.

“Failure to protect basic human right to life of a Pakistani in prison raises questions India must answer,” he said.

The Pakistan high commissioner in India had sought details about the incident, but these were not ­provided by the Indian authorities.

Published in Dawn, March 4th, 2019