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Sarabjit Singh cremated with full state honours, thousands throng the site to pay last respects

Friday, 3 May 2013 - 1:12pm IST Updated: Friday, 3 May 2013 - 2:04pm IST | Place: Bikhiwind (Amritsar)
A large number of people, including women, have arrived here for the cremation of 49-year-old Sarabjit who succumbed to his injuries in a Lahore hospital following a brutal attack on Friday last in Kot Lakhpat Jail where he was lodged since 1990.

The mortal remains of Sarabjit Singh, who died after being brutally assaulted by fellow inmates in a Lahore jail, will be consigned to flames in his native village in Bikhiwind at 2pm this afternoon with state honours.

Highlights

* Dalbir Singh finished performing the last rights. Sarabjit Singh cremated with full state honours.

* Indian national Sarabjit Singh, who died after a brutal assault by fellow inmates in a Pakistani jail, suffered massive internal bleeding because of a head injury, according to an initial autopsy report.

* Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal is present at the funeral.

* The body has reached the cremation site. Sarabjit's sister performs last rights.

* The coffin has been covered in a tricolour flag

* Rahul Gandhi is one of the attendees at the funeral.

* Sarabjit Singh's body is being carried to the area of cremation in Bikhiwind near Amritsar.

Shops and commercial establishments in the area remained shut. The village has witnessed angry protests with locals raising anti-Pakistan slogans and burning effigies.

A large number of people, including women, have arrived for the cremation of 49-year-old Sarabjit who succumbed to his injuries in a Lahore hospital yesterday following a brutal attack on Friday last in Kot Lakhpat Jail where he was lodged since 1990.

Union Minister of State for External Affairs and Patiala MP Preneet Kaur, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, his deputy Sukhbir Badal and a number of leaders are expected to attend the last rites of Sarabjit.

The government has announced a state funeral and also a three-day mourning as a mark of respect to Sarabjit, besides financial aid and government jobs for his family.

The village with a population of around 11,000 and located about 36 kms from Amritsar, is in a state of mourning since yesterday. Residents had started gathering near the house of the family after the news of Sarabjit's death spread.

Officials of the district administration have made arrangements for the state funeral in the outskirts of Bikhiwind. Police personnel have been deployed in large numbers in the village.

Meanwhile, a second autopsy was conducted last night by a team of six doctors at the government-run Amritsar Medical College to ascertain the cause of Sarabjit's death. The first postmortem was carried out at the Jinnah Hospital in Lahore.

Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has demanded an independent probe by an international agency into the circumstances leading to Sarabjit's death.

According to his family, Sarabjit had inadvertently crossed the zero-line near here in an inebriated state while working in his fields which run along the border.


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