27 apr 2013
Sarabjit Singh still critical, in coma at Lahore hospital
Lahore: Sarabjit Singh, an Indian man who is on death row in Pakistan, continues to be in critical condition in a hospital in Lahore where he was admitted after he was brutally attacked by a group of prisoners at a jail yesterday.
Sarabjit, 49, was assaulted at the Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore. He is in coma and on ventilator in the Intensive Care Unit of the state-run Jinnah Hospital in Lahore. Doctors attending to him have said he is responding to some stimuli at times, a latest statement from the Ministry of External Affairs states.
Four members of Sarabjit’s family have been granted emergency visas to visit him in Lahore. His daughter, Swapandeep Kaur, told that the Indian government helped them get a visa to Pakistan.
Six prisoners reportedly attacked Sarabjit and hit him with bricks and a blade, reports Press Trust of India. Two have been booked for attempt to murder. One of them had reportedly had a quarrel with him a few days ago.
Sarabjit is believed to have suffered extensive internal bleeding caused by a severe head injury. Even as he was in coma, doctors carried out X-rays, MRI, CT scans on him. They are now waiting for his condition to stabilise before conducting further tests.
Pakistani TV news channels quoted their sources as saying that next 24 hours would be crucial for Sarabjit.
Condemning the attack on Sarabjit, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said it was a “very sad incident.”
Sarabjit has been on a death row in Pakistan since 1990 after he was convicted by Pakistani courts for bomb blasts in Lahore and Multan which left 14 people dead.
Sarabjit’s family claims that he had inadvertently crossed into Pakistan in August 1990 in a drunk state and was arrested there.
His sister Dalbir Kaur, who has been spearheading the campaign for his release, has said there was constant threat to her brother’s life in Pakistan after the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru. She said she had apprised authorities about it but no action was taken.