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Pakistani prisoner attacked in Kashmir

03 May 2013, 18:24

Srinagar - A Pakistani prisoner in a local jail in Indian Kashmir was seriously hurt on Friday after being beaten by another inmate, a top police official said, a day after a convicted Indian spy died after being bludgeoned with a brick by fellow inmates in a Pakistani prison a week ago.

The official, who did not want to be named because he does not have permission to speak to reporters, said the prisoner, Sanaullah, was in critical care in a hospital in Jammu city.

Sanaullah, who goes by one name, was imprisoned in 1999 and in 2009 sentenced to life in prison for being a Pakistani militant operating in Indian Kashmir.

The official said Sanaullah got into an argument with an Indian prisoner as the two smoked in the jail compound.

The attacker was identified as Vinod Kumar, a court martialed Indian soldier. It was not immediately clear what charges he faced.

An investigation has been ordered into the attack, police said.

The Indian prisoner, Sarabjit Singh, had been in a prison in Lahore, Pakistan, for more than 20 years. He was arrested in 1990 after bombings killed 14 people in Lahore and Faisalabad, Pakistan. He was convicted of spying and carrying out the blasts and sentenced to death.

He had been comatose and on a ventilator for days after the prison attack on 26 April. His death led to Indian officials and his family asking why he was left vulnerable inside the prison.

'Obvious retaliation'

Indian officials said the incident had hurt relations between the nuclear-armed neighbors, which have fought three major wars - including two over Kashmir - since they achieved independence from Britain in 1947. Relations have experienced ups and downs in recent years.

On Friday, Pakistan's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry said his country's mission in New Delhi had contacted Indian authorities and was seeking details of the attack and consular access to Sanaullah.

"This obvious retaliation to the death of Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh is condemnable," Chaudhury said in a statement.

"We would also remind the government of India of its responsibility in ensuring the safety and security of all Pakistani prisoners lodged in Indian jails," the statement said.

A spokesperson for India's Ministry of External Affairs, Syed Akbaruddin, said Indian officials were ensuring that Sanaullah gets the medical treatment he requires and would grant consular access to him as soon as his condition stabilises.

- AP


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