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Who is Sarabjit Singh?

Saturday, 27 April 2013 - 10:06am IST | Place: Mumbai
He has been in solitary confinement for over 19 years in a small cramp cell with no space for him to stand upright.

Sarabjit Singh is an Indian National who was convicted and sentenced to death by a court in Pakistan in 1991 for his alleged involvement in terrorists attacks in Pakistan.

He was convicted by the Pakistani authorities for his involvement in 1990 serial bomb blasts in Lahore and Faisalabad that killed 14 people.

Sarabjit claimed that he was a farmer and a victim of mistaken identity, who strayed into Pakistan from his village located on the border, three months after the bombings.

He has been in solitary confinement for over 19 years in a small cramp cell with no space for him to stand upright. Until the recent intervention of a human rights group from Canada, Sarabjit remained shackled in his cell.

Sarabjit is from Bhikhiwind, located along the Indo-Pakistani border in Tarn Taran district of Punjab. Sarabjit is married to Sukhpreet Kaur and has two daughters Swapandeep and Poonam Kaur.

Sarabjit Singh’s sister Dalbir Kaur has campaigned tirelessly on behalf of her brother since his arrest and continues to do so to date.

He was arrested on the charges of illegally crossing the India-Pakistan border. But after eight days, Pakistani police charged him with being involved in the terrorist blasts in Faislabad and Lahore in 1990.

The authorities alleged he was Manjit Singh and was responsible for the 4 blasts which killed 14 people. It was also alleged he was arrested while returning back into India after carrying out the bombings. He is accused of working for Indian intelligence and was viewed as a terrorist in Pakistan.

He was convicted of spying and carrying the bomb blasts and was handed death penalty

Singh does not have the benefit of a legal team in India. His current lawyer in Pakistan is Awais Sheikh who is a human rights lawyer. The original mercy peition was filed by by the previous lawyer and was rejected by president Pervaiz Musharaf on the grounds it was out of the statutory limitation period.

Sheikh has filed a fresh petition with the President Asif Ali Zardari , immediately after review petition was dismissed in Supreme Court following the failure of the previous lawyer to attend the hearing.

The mercy petition lodged by Sheikh is currently waiting to be determined by President Asif Ali Zardari.

On April 26, he was attacked in Central Jail Lahore(Kot Lakhpat jail) by two prisoners Mudasar and Amir with bricks. He was immediately admitted to the hospital with severe head injuries in critical condition. Sarabjit Singh was put on ventilators and it is learnt that his condition is critical.

According to his sister, the attack on Sarbjit was planned.

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