Concerned over the condition of Sarabjit Singh, who has slipped into “non-reversible coma,” India on Wednesday strongly asked Pakistan to release him immediately for best available treatment, saying this was not the time for invoking “legal and bureaucratic reasons.”

“We are concerned at the condition of Sarabjit Singh indicated by reports made available by doctors treating him in Jinnah Hospital (in Lahore).

“Our High Commissioner has met the Pakistan Foreign Secretary and urged the Pakistan government to immediately release him on humanitarian and sympathetic grounds so that he can benefit from the best available treatment in India,” the Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs Ministry said.

He also said India has alternatively also proposed that 49-year-old Sarabjit should be sent to a third country for proper medical treatment.

“This is not the time for invoking legal and bureaucratic reasons for not taking the right steps to save a human life.

We believe that every endeavour should be made to save his life,” the spokesperson said.

Earlier, sources in Lahore told PTI that the Indian death row convict has slipped into a “non-reversible” coma and doctors were struggling to save his life. The deterioration in his condition could lead to “brain death”, they said.

Family back in India

Meanwhile, the family of Sarabjit Singh after returning from Pakistan on Wednesday accused the government of doing little for the prisoner who was battling for his life after a brutal assault and said they would go to Delhi to meet the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and other leaders.

The family, which crossed over to India after visiting Sarabjit, said his life can be saved if the Indian government puts pressure on Pakistan to shift him to this country or abroad for better treatment.

Plea to PM

“I will tell the Prime Minister with folded hands that I have doubts about the treatment being given to Sarabjit in Pakistan,” Sarabjit’s sister Dalbir Kaur told reporters.

Sarabjit sustained several injuries, including a skull fracture, when six prisoners attacked him in the jail. He was hit on the head with bricks and his neck and torso cut with sharp weapons.

He was convicted of alleged involvement in a string of bomb attacks in Punjab province that killed 14 people in 1990.