Sarabjit critical, still on life support

Updated - November 17, 2021 04:23 am IST

Published - April 27, 2013 10:15 am IST - Islamabad

Pakistani police officers stand guard at an emergency ward where Indian spy Sarabjit Singh is admitted at a local hospital in Lahore, Pakistan on Friday, April 26, 2013. An Indian spy on death row was critically injured when he was attacked with a brick inside a prison in the eastern city of Lahore. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

Pakistani police officers stand guard at an emergency ward where Indian spy Sarabjit Singh is admitted at a local hospital in Lahore, Pakistan on Friday, April 26, 2013. An Indian spy on death row was critically injured when he was attacked with a brick inside a prison in the eastern city of Lahore. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

After slipping into coma on Friday night — hours after he was hit on the head with bricks in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat Jail — Indian death row prisoner Sarabjit Singh remained on life support through Saturday with doctors at Jinnah Hospital describing his condition as ‘critical.’

According to doctors attending on him, Singh sustained multiple injuries on his head and body. A medical board has been set up to monitor his condition round-the-clock and it is waiting for his condition to stabilise before taking a call on whether surgery can be performed. The board includes a senior neuro-surgeon and principal of the Post Graduate Medical Institute, a senior neuro-physician from King Edward Medical University and the head of the neuro department of Allama Iqbal Medical College.

The two officers of the mission who were sent to Lahore on Friday night from Islamabad to provide consular access to Singh reached the hospital at 2 a.m. They were allowed to spend some time with him. They are likely to remain in Lahore for a couple of days.

Visa granted to family

Pakistan has granted visa to Singh’s family, and his wife, two daughters and sister are expected to cross over from Wagah on Sunday morning. His lawyer Awais Sheikh was concerned about their security and complained that no one from the local administration or the federal government contacted him regarding arrangements for their stay and related issues.

In the first official remarks on the attack on Singh, the Foreign Office said Singh suffered head injuries as “a result of a scuffle between prisoners.” He was rendered unconscious and immediately evacuated to Jinnah Hospital, the Foreign Office said in a statement. “Doctors and medical staff at the hospital are working round-the-clock to revive the prisoner who remains unconscious and on ventilator support.”

Meanwhile, murder cases have been registered against two prisoners involved in the attack. One of them is also awaiting death sentence and by all accounts they hit Singh with bricks and blunt objects, while the prisoners were being taken out for their regular exercise.

“Dastardly act”

Condemning the attack, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan described it as a dastardly act. “A prisoner is wholly dependent for his safety on the keepers of the prison and, regardless of his offence, he is entitled to due protection against violence by wardens or fellow detainees. In this case, the authorities have obviously failed to do their elementary duty. They should have taken special care of him since his case is well-known and the fellow prisoners’ hostility towards him could have been anticipated. The authorities should have also realised the adverse effects on relations with India if an Indian prisoner fell a victim to any foul play, to say nothing of murderous attacks on him.”

Singh is one of three Indian prisoners facing death sentence in Pakistan; the other two being Kirpal Singh and Shabir Mohammad. Ironically, Singh was attacked just as the joint judicial committee looking into the condition of prisoners in either country was beginning its visit of Pakistani prisons. As per their schedule, the committee — comprising three retired judges from Pakistan and two from India — is due to visit Kot Lakhpat Jail on Monday afternoon.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.