India reacts angrily to Sarabjit' death

Last Updated: Thu, May 02, 2013 08:56 hrs

New Delhi, May 2 (IBNS) Politicians on Thursday joined rest of the country as they reacted with anger over the death of Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh at Jinnah Hospital in Lahore on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called Sarabjit a brave son of India who bore his tribulations with fortitude.

"I am deeply saddened by the passing away of Sarabjit Singh. He was a brave son of India who bore his tribulations with valiant fortitude," said the Prime Minister in his statement.

Minister of State for Human Resources Development Shashi Tharoor tweeted: "We all mourn for #SarabjitSingh. But several parties hv been in power since his arrest. Did NDA Govt raise his case in Lahore/Agra/Islamabad?"

In a series of tweets, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi said: "Sarabjit Singh´s demise is very sad. May his soul rest in peace. May God give strength to his family to bear this loss."

"Both, the Government of India & Government of Pakistan have misled people on Sarabjit Singh issue. The truth on this issue must come out," the senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) tweeted.

Attacking the Centre over the issue, Modi said: "Centre is unable to give a strong answer to Pakistan´s inhuman acts. Beheading of our soldiers & now Sarabjit´s death are 2 recent examples."

BJP leader and Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said: "It is a cold blooded murder. This is not the way civilized nations behave. #Sarabjit Singh."

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said the dilly dallying of the government was evident in handling the issue.

"Have we done enough to save him?" he asked holding that no serious step was taken to secure the release of Sarabjit.

Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin posted on his Twitter homepage: "#India: Sarabjit´s death is, put simply, the killing of our citizen while in the custody of #Pakistan jail authorities."

BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain tweeted: "Now is the time to show that we stand behind our citizens. As a first step #Sarabjit should be declared a Martyr."

Reacting to Sarabjit´s death, senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley said: "This is an alternative to execution of death sentence that Pakistan has found. Even birds cannot enter the cells of prisoners on death row."

"The attack on Sarabjit Singh could not have been possible without the involvement of the Pakistani administration and jail officials," the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha said.

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) architect Arvind Kejriwal tweeted: "Sarabjit dies. Leaves behind many questions."

Former top cop turned social activist Kiran Bedi said: "Sarabjit´s death inside Pakistan prison was preventable.Need to find out if r Counsulate in Lahore was regularly visiting him?"

Apart from politicians, Bollywood stars and sport stars also shared their reactions on the death of the Indian prisoner on micro-blogging site Twitter.

Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar tweeted: "His death will always be a reminder of petty minded politics. RIP #SarabjitSingh."

Cricketer Harbhajan Singh said: "Its sad to know [a] bout sarabjit singh died in pakistan prayers are with his family.may god let his soul rest in peace.very sad."

Filmmaker-actor Farhan Akhtar tweeted: "Pak authorities must be answerable to all its citizens who feel ashamed by this incident and Ind authorities to all those who feel abandoned."

Poet-lyricist-scriptwriter Javed Akhtar posted on his Twitter homepage: "Some day I may forget Kargil but will never forget Sarabjit´s murder. It is an act of extreme meanness by a very petty minded establishment."

Bollywood superstar Salman Khan tweeted: "Freedom at last hope they give him to his fly. v all tried, guess nt hard enough. may god give his family strength n his soul rest in peace."

Sarabjit was attacked by two other inmates Rizwan and Amir- both death row prisoners- at the Kot Lakhpat Jail, Lahore on Friday last (April 26). He received serious head injuries and was on ventilator, till he succumbed early on Thursday in Lahore´s Jinnah Hospital.

Pakistan said Sarabjit had died of a cardiac arrest at around 1-30 am Pakistan time on Thursday.

Sarabjit Singh´s family on Wednesday returned to India via Wagah border after meeting him in a Lahore hospital.

The family and associates of Sarabjit had said time and again that they do not trust the Pakistan government on the treatment or welfare of Sarabjit.

Sarabjit has been languishing in Pakistani jail for over 20 years after a Pakistani anti-terrorist court awarded him the death sentence in 1991.

He had been convicted of involvement in a string of bombings in Punjab in 1990 that killed 14 people.

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