Pakistani prisoner air-lifted to Chandigarh

Last Updated: Fri, May 03, 2013 14:25 hrs

Pakistani prisoner Sanaullah Haq, who was attacked by inmates in an Indian jail, was air-lifted to a Chandigarh hospital from Jammu and Kashmir on Friday.

His condition is said to be critical.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Friday said the inmates who attacked a Pakistan prisoner in an Indian jail will be punished.

The repercussions of the fatal attack on Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh inside the Pakistan jail that caused his death on Thursday morning was felt in India with inmates in Central Jail at Kot Bhalwal in Jammu seriously assaulting the Pakistani prisoner.

"We are aware of the regrettable incident involving a Pakistani prisoner, Sanaullah Ranjay, who was injured today during an altercation with another inmate of a jail in Jammu. The matter is being investigated and the guilty will be punished," said an official spokesperson of the MEA on Friday.

"As you are aware an advisory had been issued to strengthen security for Pakistani prisoners in Indian jails. Safety and security of prisoners in custody lies with the jail authorities and necessary action is being taken," he said.

The MEA said India is in constant touch with the Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi on the issue.

"We are in touch with the Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi on the matter. The injured is receiving medical treatment and once the medical arrangements are in place consular access will be provided," the spokesperson said.

"We had requested the joint Judicial Committee to visit jails in Pakistan. This was the Committee´s sixth meeting and they have made some recommendations," he said.

The MEA said both India and Pakistan need to step up security for prisoners in their respective jails.

"In view of the tragic events that include the killing of two Indian prisoners in Pakistani jails and the incident involving a Pakistani prisoner in a jail in Jammu today there is a need to take stock of the current measures in place to ensure the safety, security and humane treatment of Indian and Pakistani prisoners in each others jails," said the MEA spokesperson.

"For this, we are proposing a meeting of the concerned authorities of both countries to study the recommendations and identify and put in place further measures to avoid such tragic incidents in future," he said.

Pakistan on Friday condemned the attack.

In a statement, Pakistan´s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: "We have learnt with deep concern that a Pakistani prisoner, Sanaullah, who was serving life imprisonment in a jail in Indian Occupied Kashmir, was attacked this morning and as a result has received grievous injuries."

"Upon receipt of this information, the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi has sought immediate consular access to visit Sanaullah who is presently in hospital in Jammu and in a critical condition," it said.

Condemning the attack, the Ministry said: "This obvious retaliation to the death of Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh is condemnable and we call upon the Government of India to take all measures to ensure that Sanaullah receives the best medical treatment available, investigate the matter thoroughly and punish the perpetrators of this atrocity."

"We would also remind the Government of India of its responsibility in ensuring the safety and security of allPakistani prisoners lodged in Indian jails," it said.

Pertinently, there are 535 Indian prisoners (including 483 fishermen) in Pakistani jails and a total of 272 Pakistaniprisoners in Indian jails.

Indian death row convict Sarabjit Singh was attacked inside Kot Lakhpat Jail in Pakistan´s Lahore city by two other inmates Rizwan and Amir- both death row prisoners on Apr 26, causing his death this Thursday.

More from Sify: