There was no relief to Sarabjit Singh’s family, which has been appealing to the Pakistani authorities to send him back to India for better treatment, as the panel of medical experts decided not to shift him abroad for treatment. Sarabjit, who is in deep coma following a brutal assault in Lahore jail, his treatment will continue in Pakistan.
Pakistan government had formed a four-member panel of medical experts, who were to decide whether Sarabjit should be sent abroad for treatment. With the decision, his family has no option rather than to remain quiet. The Indian national is battling for life at the state-run Jinnah Hospital in Lahore. He is in ICU. His skull was fractured and he sustained several injuries to his face, neck and torso during the assault. Several tests have been done on him so far, including two CT scans. Doctors attending to him said that no surgery can be possible until his condition stabilises.
Yesterday, Sarabjit’s sister, wife and two daughters saw him through a window from outside the ICU. They arrived in Pakistan through the Wagah land border crossing this afternoon after being granted visas by the Pakistan high commission in Delhi. They appealed to Indian government to save Sarabjit.
Reports suggested that the attackers wanted to kill Sarabjit in the jail. According to a preliminary report prepared by deputy inspector general of police (Prisons) Malik Mubashir, the accused – Amer Aftab and Mudassar, both death row prisoners – attacked him as he was allegedly responsible for killing many Pakistanis in Bomb blasts in LAhore in 1990. The duo had sharpened spoons to use as knives, made blades from pieces of empty ghee tin and collected bricks to kill him inside the jail.
Sarabjit is convicted for alleged involvement in a string of bomb attacks in Punjab province and is sentenced to death. His mercy petitions have been rejected by the courts and former military ruler Pervez Musharraf. The outgoing PPP government has deferred his execution till indefinite period in 2008. However, Sarabjit’s family claimed that he was the victim of mistaken identity and had inadvertently crossed the border.