Expressing dissatisfaction with the medical treatment being provided to Sarabjit Singh in Pakistan, the death-row prisoner’s family in Punjab on Wednesday refuted doctors’ claim that he was brain-dead.
Sister Dalbir Kaur, wife Sukhpreet Kaur and daughters Swapandeep Kaur and Poonam, who returned to India from Pakistan after meeting Sarabjit in a Lahore hospital, said though he was comatose, his body showed movements.
The family members, showing signs of stress and anxiety, said they had no faith in the Pakistani medical team attending on Sarabjit. “They might do something to him now.”
Talking to reporters after crossing over into India by the land route at the Attari-Wagah border, Ms. Dalbir Kaur said she would not eat until the Indian government initiated “concrete efforts” to bring her brother back to the country for treatment. She demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as the entire episode had exposed the “worthlessness” of the government.
Ms. Kaur said she could see a “conspiracy” by the Indian and Pakistani administrations as Sarabjit was attacked in a Lahore jail, after the 26/11 gunman Ajmal Kasab of Pakistan and the Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru had been hanged. She said Indian government “chose to abandon its citizen.”
Sarabjit's wife and daughters said India fell short in its efforts at ensuring him protection despite threats to his life. “The family had been kept in the dark about the developments.”
The family, which was granted a 15-day visa to visit Sarabjit, returned within three days to take up the matter with Indian authorities.
From Attari, it drove to Delhi to meet UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid.
The family would thereafter go to Lahore again to pursue the matter, despite threats from the Taliban, said Ms. Kaur. She said Pakistani doctors and authorities did not share any information during the five occasions the family was allowed to see Sarabjit.