Indian PM laments convicted spy's death
Updated: 2013-05-02 15:42
NEW DELHI - Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Thursday expressed grief over the death of convicted Indian spy Sarabjit Singh who succumbed to his "grave" injuries in the wee hours at a Pakistani hospital, after being in a coma for nearly a week following an attack by his fellow inmates at a jail in Lahore.
The prime minister described Sarabjit Singh, who was on death row in Pakistan, as a "brave son of India" and slammed Islamabad for its refusal to take a "humanitarian view" on his case after the deadly attacks on him.
"I am deeply saddened by the passing away of Sarabjit Singh. He was a brave son of India who bore his tribulations with valiant fortitude. May his soul be granted the peace that he could not enjoy in life," the Indian prime minister said in his condolence message.
"It is particularly regrettable that the government of Pakistan did not heed the pleas of the government of India, Sarabjit's family and of the civil society in India and Pakistan to take a humanitarian view of this case," the prime minister added, urging Pakistan to bring to justice the criminals responsible for "the barbaric and murderous attack" on Singh at a high-security jail in Lahore last Friday.
Indian Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, who met Sarabjit Singh's family members in the national capital, echoed similar sentiments, saying, his death "is unfortunate for the country."
"The government is trying to ensure that his body is brought back to India as soon as possible," he added.
Singh, who was 49, had been sentenced to death for spying and his role in bomb attacks which claimed the lives of 14 people in Pakistan in 1990. He had denied any involvement and insisted that his case was that of a "mistaken identity."
Despite several appeals, his clemency petition was rejected by the Pakistani Supreme Court and subsequently by former Presidents Pervez Musharraf.