India hands over Sanaullah's body to Pakistan
Pakistan High Commission seeks release of 47 Pakistani prisoners who have completed their jail terms but are still languishing in Indian prisons
The body of Pakistani prisoner Sanaullah Ranjay was handed over to Pakistan by India after the 52-year-old died due to multiple organ failure at a Chandigarh hospital at 7 yesterday morning. A special PIA flight took off from Chandigarh airport this evening with the body of the prisoner.
“The body was handed over to officials of the Pakistan High Commission and formalities completed at the airport before the flight took off,” an official said.
A minor hiccup related to documentation and other formalities earlier held up the plane’s departure, scheduled around 5 pm by nearly over an hour, an official source said.
Sanaullah was brought to Chandigarh’s Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in an air ambulance in critical condition on May 3, after being hit on the head by a fellow inmate at the high-security Kot Balwal jail in Jammu.
The attack on Sanaullah happened a day after Sarabjit Singh died in Pakistan. Singh was brutally attacked by six prisoners in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail last month.
Jammu jail authorities said the prisoner who attacked Sanaullah was close to him and that they had an altercation. But Pakistan called the attack on Sanaullah an “obvious retaliation” to Singh’s death.
In a statement issued yesterday morning, the Pakistan High Commission demanded as “impartial and international probe” into the attack on Sanaullah and sought the “release of 47 Pakistani prisoners who have completed their jail terms but are still languishing in prisons” in India. India has rejected the demand for an international inquiry saying the matter is bilateral.
A resident of Sialkot in Pakistan, Sanaullah was serving a life term. He was arrested in 1999 and convicted under TADA Act.
‘Matter of regret’
Offering “sincere apology” to the family of Sanaullah, J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said in a tweet, “While the inquiry will fix responsibility for any dereliction of duty, the fact that this is happening at all is a matter of great regret.”