Manjit Singh Rattu, arrested on Thursday for cheating, is suspected to have been involved in the 1990 Lahore bombings, a case in which Sarabjit Singh has been awarded the death sentence and languishing in a Pakistani jail.

The arrest of Rattu has brought fresh hope to Sarabjit Singh, who was picked up when he crossed over to Pakistan in an inebriated condition in 1990 and presented as Manjit Singh.

Rattu entered the country under the guise of a journalist and married a local woman.

Human Rights Council chairman Arvind Thakur, who has been providing Sarabjit Singh's family with legal help, said the fresh evidence would help to secure his release. “By presenting the real Manjit Singh, we can ensure that he pays for his crimes and Sarabjit is released.” However, the process would be complicated, as many cases were registered in both countries under many names.

Known by several names such as Manjit Singh, M. Singh, A. Mann Mumtaz Sharif Rattu and Mohammed Sharif Rattu, Manjit Singh Rattu was once arrested near Toronto on two counts of fraud by Peel Regional Police. After returning to India recently, he told many people that he wanted to start a newspaper for non-resident Indians from Panchkula and Mohali. He is married in India, Pakistan and Canada.

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