South Asia

Autopsy finds injury marks on body of Indian prisoner in Pakistan

Four injuries, including a fracture, were found on the body of Chamel Singh, an Indian prisoner in Pakistan who died after he was allegedly assaulted by staff at a prison in Lahore, according to a preliminary autopsy report.

Authorities had constituted a medical board to perform an autopsy on Singh’s body about two months after his death. The autopsy was done shortly before the body was sent to India on March 13.

The preliminary report states that traces of four injuries were found on the body, including a fracture of the right knee, an abrasion of 1.5 cm to 2 cm on the left knee joint, an abrasion over the upper lip and scars on the thigh, official sources told PTI today.

A chemical examination to ascertain the exact cause of death will be conducted later, the sources said.

Singh, said to be in his sixties, was declared dead on arrival by doctors at the state-run Jinnah Hospital on January 15.

He was serving a five-year prison term at Kot Lakhpat Jail for alleged involvement in espionage.

Tehseen Khan, a Christian lawyer who recently completed a 42-month sentence for fraud at Kot Lakhpat Jail, claimed Singh died after being beaten by prison staff.

“On January 15, I saw some three jail staff beating Chamel Singh over some issue. He was beaten severely and I think he died because of this,” Mr. Khan told PTI earlier.

Prison officials have refuted Mr. Khan’s claim and said Singh died of an apparent heart attack.

Kot Lakhpat Jail’s Additional Superintendent Ishtiaq Ahmed said Singh was taken to hospital after he developed chest pain while having breakfast.

“We shifted him to Jinnah Hospital, where doctors pronounced him dead,” he said.

Awais Shiekh, the counsel for Indian death row prisoner Sarbajit Singh, told PTI that he would file a petition in court against the jail officials after getting a copy of the preliminary autopsy report.

Mr. Sheikh had earlier approached the Lahore High Court for an inquiry into Singh’s death but his plea was turned down.

“I will ask the court to find out the measures put in place to protect other Indian prisoners, including Sarabjit Singh,” Mr. Sheikh said.

A total of 33 Indian prisoners are currently being held in Kot Lakhpat Jail. The prison’s records state that Chamel Singh was arrested near the border at Sialkot in 2010.

He was brought to the jail last June. He was to complete his term in 2015.

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Printable version | Apr 16, 2021 1:26:06 AM |

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