Bhikhiwind (Punjab), May 11 (IANS) Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal Saturday said that had the Congress-led UPA central government acted in time, the life of Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh could have been saved.
The Punjab assembly had passed resolutions four times urging the central government to take prompt action for ensuring the early release of Sarabjit from the Pakistan jail and sent it to the central government but they did not take the matter seriously, he said, addressing a gathering after the memorial service for Sarabjit held in his hometown here.
Handing over a cheque of Rs.1 crore to Sarabjit's family as financial assistance, he also announced that one of Sarabjit's daughters would be appointed a naib tehsildar (revenue official) and one would be appointed as government school teacher soon. He said that clearance for both these posts would be given by the Punjab cabinet at its next meeting.
"The entire country in general and the Punjab government in particular is with the family and committed for their well being," Badal said.
Terming Sarabjit as a national martyr, Badal said that he (Sarabjit) had suffered endless agonies in the Pakistani jail for being an Indian. He praised Sarabjit's sister, Dalbir Kaur, for her relentless efforts to secure the release of her brother.
Sarabjit died May 2 in Lahore's Jinnah Hospital, six days after being attacked by fellow prisoners in Lahore's Kot Lakhpat jail April 26.
He had been arrested in Pakistan in August 1990. Pakistan accused him of being an Indian spy and of carrying out bomb attacks. His family insisted he was an innocent man who crossed over to Pakistan inadvertently.
--Indo-Asian News Service