Pakistan Seeks Release Of All Prisoners Completing Sentence in India

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A prisoner looks out of a jail window. A Pakistani prisoner who was arrested by authorities in India for trespassing more than two years ago was found hanging inside a jail in Jammu in Indian Kashmir.. AFP File
A prisoner looks out of a jail window. A Pakistani prisoner who was arrested by authorities in India for trespassing more than two years ago was found hanging inside a jail in Jammu in Indian Kashmir.. AFP File

BODY OF PAKISTANI WHO KILLED HIMSELF IN JAMMU JAIL SENT HOME

JAMMU/ISLAMABAD, Feb 24 —  The body of a Pakistani prisoner who was found hanging in a jail here Feb 22 will be handed over Monday to Pakistani officials for being returned to his family.

Showkat Ali, son of Barkat Ali resident of Pind Sail Jathan in Sialkot, was found hanging inside the Amphalla district jail in Jammu and Kashmir winter capital Jammu Saturday. A magisterial probe has been ordered into the incident. Police has also registered an FIR on the incident.

Prison sources said a preliminary inquiry indicated the prisoner had committed suicide. Showkat was arrested in February 2011 in Jammu after he crossed over to the Indian side of the international border.

Reports said Showkat had been suffering from a mental ailment.

“After completing of all the formalities, the body of the prisoner was sent at 5.50 a.m. today to Wagah border (Punjab) for return to his native village.

“The body will be handed over to Pakistani authorities at Wagah border today (Monday),” a senior state government official told IANS here.

Meanwhile Pakistan has demanded the release on humanitarian grounds of all its prisoners who have completed their sentences.

The demand came after a Pakistani prisoner was found hanging Saturday morning inside the Amphalla district jail in Jammu.

K. Rajendra Kumar, director general prisons, told reporters that the body of Showkat Ali, son of Barkat Ali, a resident of Pind Sail Jathan in Sialkot Pakistan, was found hanging from the iron window of a barrack toilet inside the prison.

Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Salman Bashir contacted Indian authorities to get a detailed report about the death of the prisoner.

“Yes, I heard about this incident through media and we are now in contact with Indian authorities to get more details,” Bashir told Dawn.

Foreign Office spokesman Tasneem Aslam said that Islamabad has demanded that all of its prisoners who have completed their sentences should be released on humanitarian grounds.

“We have asked our high commission in India to furnish us with more details about the incident,” the spokesperson said.

Aslam expressed concern over the plight of Pakistani prisoners in India and claimed that they face so much pressure that either they lose their senses or commit suicide.

According to Pakistani diplomats based in New Delhi, Indian officials assured them that the incident would be investigated by a magistrate and, after the completion of legal formalities, the body would be handed over to Pakistan.

Ali was reportedly suffering from some mental ailment and was lodged in the jail following court orders.–IANS

 

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