The body of Indian prisoner Kirpal Singh, who died under suspicious circumstances in a Pakistan prison last week, was brought back to India. The body was immediately taken to a government hospital in Amritsar for post-mortem examination.
Pakistani authorities handed over the body to Border Security Force (BSF) officials at the Attari-Wagah land border check post after completing necessary formalities.
Close relatives and residents from Kirpal Singh’s village were present at Attari, 30 km from Chandigarh, when the body was brought back to India. The body was carried by porters on the Indian side even as family members showered flowers on the coffin.
Pakistani authorities had attributed his death in a Lahore prison to heart attack, but his family has alleged he was murdered in prison.
Kirpal Singh, the family has maintained, had inadvertently crossed into Pakistan and was arrested and charged with spying by Pakistani authorities.
Kirpal’s family had met union home minister Rajnath Singh and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in New Delhi to seek immediate repatriation of his body to India. External Affair Minister Sushma Swaraj had earlier assured the kin of Kirpal Singh that India would get his body back home.
Family members of Kirpal Singh during their meeting with Union Home Minister expressed their concerns over the brutal treatment meted out to Indians languishing in Pakistani prisons.
The Punjab government has offered to extend all help and relief to Kirpal’s family on the same lines as given to another Indian prisoner, Sarabjit Singh, who was killed after a murderous attack by fellow convicts in the same prison in April 2013.
Kirpal Singh, a former serviceman, had been lodged in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat prison since 1992. He died on April 11. Pakistani authorities had labelled him a spy and got him convicted for terror attacks inside Pakistan. Though his family has vehemently denied the Pakistan charge. (IANS)