Expressing shock over the brutal attack on Sarabjit Singh, an Indian prisoner on death row in Pakistan, former External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna on Saturday said the Indian High Commission in Islamabad should take up the matter very seriously with the Pakistani authorities.
" I am distressed to read in the newspapers and other media that an inhuman attack has been made on an already sick political prisoner like Sarabjit Singh. We have been trying for the last so many years to get him into India, but unfortunately they have not been able to see our reasoning for that. Now comes this news of an attack on him in the jail itself," Krishna told mediapersons here.
"I think our Ambassador should take it up really very seriously with the Pakistani authorities. The External Affairs Ministry, I am sure, would have already taken steps to summon the High Commissioner of Pakistan in India and then convey our concern," he added.
Meanwhile, the distraught family members of Sarabjit Singh demanded immediate issuance of visa on hearing of the attack on him inside Lahore's Kot Lakhpat Jail.
Sarabjit Singh's wife Sukhpreet Kaur and his daughters, Swapandeep and Poonam, were inconsolable after they got the news of the attack on him.
Poonam prayed for her father Sarabjit's speedy recovery.
"We request the Indian Government to provide us the visa immediately, so that we can go to Pakistan and get his medical treatment done and can also take good care of him," she said yesterday.
Sarabjit's wife Sukhpreet Kaur said that her husband had served enough time in Pakistan jail and called for his release.
"I would be very thankful, if they could allow us to go to Pakistan. I will get his treatment done. My husband has served double the time of his sentence and there is no reason for my husband to stay in Pakistan. He is innocent," she told the media in Bhikhiwind, Punjab.
Sarabjit Singh was in a 'deep coma' and put on ventilator support after being assaulted by a group of prisoners inside a Pakistani jail.
Two Indian High Commission officials got consular access to Sarabjit Singh in the ICU of Jinnah Hospital this morning, where he was admitted after being attacked by two prisoners in the jail.
"The officials of India's High Commission in Islamabad obtained access to Sarabjit in the ICU of Jinnah hospital, Lahore at 2:00 a.m.," said Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) official spokesman Syed Akbaruddin.
"Doctors attending to Sarabjit Singh informed the Indian officials that he is in coma on ventilator and receiving IV drip," he said.
The Indian mission had contacted Pakistan's Foreign Office on Friday night to seek consular access.
The two Indian officials went to the hospital and spent some time with Sarabjit.
Security has been beefed up at the hospital, where dozens of police commandos have been deployed.
The attack occurred when the victim and other prisoners were brought out of their cells for an hour-long break. The two prisoners assaulted Sarabjit with blunt objects and he sustained a severe head injury.
Sarabjit Singh was arrested in Pakistan in 1991 and sentenced to death on charges of spying and carrying out four bomb blasts that killed 14 people.
However, his family contends he is innocent and a victim of wrong identity who crossed into Pakistan in 1990 in an inebriated state. (ANI)