Fresh hope has appeared for Sarabjit Singh, who is on death row in Pakistan. His new lawyer, Awais Sheikh, on Monday cited “fresh” evidence to move the Supreme Court there for reopening the trial in the 1990 Lahore bombings case, in which the man from a Punjab village, who inadvertently crossed the international border, was convicted.
Mr. Sheikh was talking to journalists here after meeting Pradesh Congress Committee president and former Chief Minister, Amarinder Singh. In the light of fresh evidence, he had moved another mercy petition before President Asif Ali Zardari.Mr. Sheikh said Sarabjit's was indeed a case of mistaken identity. His family, especially sister Dalbir Kaur, had been pleading that he is not Manjit Singh as was being made out in the investigation. The first information report mentioned Manjit Singh as the accused in the case of bomb attacks in Lahore and Multan. But Sarabjit was arrested and the police presented him as Manjit Singh.
While Sarabjit, whose village is along the international border, crossed over into Pakistan in an inebriated condition in 1990, Manjit Singh “deliberately” entered the country under the guise of a journalist and married a local woman. The same Manjit Singh was said to have had links with terrorists in Punjab and served a three-year prison term on similar charges in Canada.
Mr. Sheikh said he would furnish evidence before the Supreme Court. He said he was writing a book based on this case of mistaken identity.
Claiming that Sarabjit was in good health in the Kot Lakhpat prison in Lahore, Mr. Sheikh handed over to Captain Singh a string of beads, which the prisoner had made as part of his labour and desired that it be presented to UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi. Sarabjit also sent letters to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and BJP leader L. K. Advani.