Citing the “comprehensive post-mortem report,” the Punjab Prisons Department on Sunday denied reports that the Indian prisoner Chamel Singh — who died under mysterious circumstances in the Lahore Central Jail in mid-January — had been tortured to death.
Amid reports in the Pakistani media that the preliminary post-mortem report indicated torture, Rafiq Chaudhry, Senior Superintendent of Central Jail, Kot Lakhpat, told the state-owned Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) that there was not an iota of truth in media reports that Chamel Singh, a native of Jammu & Kashmir, had been tortured.
Mr. Chaudhry said Chamel Singh suffered a stroke while working in the compound of Barrack No. 4 with other Indians and was rushed to the nearby Jinnah Hospital. However, he died on the way to hospital.
Inquest was conducted by the Special Judicial Magistrate after which the body was handed over to the local police for post-mortem.
Further, Mr. Chaudhry said, the comprehensive post-mortem report revealed that Chamel Singh had died of natural causes and there was no mark of violence on his body.
“All other Indian inmates also testified that Chamel died of heart attack,” the APP report quoted him as saying.
This is the first time that any official version has been put out by the Punjab Police on the incident. Soon after Chamel Singh’s death, reports surfaced that he had been beaten up by prison staff for washing clothes in the prison compound.
In view of the media reports, an enquiry was conducted after which the post-mortem was done on March 13 and the body handed over to the Indian High Commission (IHC) soon after.
The IHC has sent several requests to the Pakistan Foreign Office for a copy of the post-mortem report but it was not handed over till this weekend.