JK to take up prisoner's death issue with Centre

Days after an Indian prisoner was allegedly tortured to death in a Pakistani jail, the Jammu and Kashmir government today said it will take up the matter with the Centre even as the BJP demanded that a strong message be sent to Pakistan that such “inhuman” act will not be tolerated.

“We will call for the details and we will take up the matter with the Ministry of External Affairs,” Jammu and Kashmir Minister of State for Home Sajjad Ahmad Kichloo said in Jammu.

His remarks came after a preliminary postmortem report of Chamel Singh found four injuries, including a fracture, on his body.

He was allegedly assaulted by the prison staff in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat Jail, where he was serving a five-year term for alleged involvement in espionage.

Singh, said to be in his sixties, hailed from Jammu district, and was declared dead when brought to a Pakistani hospital on January 15.

Kichloo said the state government had taken the initiative in ensuring the return of Singh’s body.

Meanwhile, BJP leader Balbir Punj asked the government to make it clear to the neighbouring country that it will not tolerate this sort of inhuman behaviour. “There has been repetition of such unfortunate incidents particularly in Pakistan, from the Pakistani side. Earlier they beheaded one of our soldiers,” he told reporters in Delhi.

“I can understand people fighting a war and somebody gets killed. But this sort of cruelty, inhumanity, which has been evident on the part of Pakistan while dealing with India and Indians is really very sad.

“It shows the amount of hatred they have towards India somewhere and particularly Hindus... The least the government of India can do is to...make it clear to Pakistan, once and for all, that we will not tolerate this sort of inhuman behaviour in the future,” he said.
Mustafa Kamal of the National Conference said such incidents will happen till India and Pakistan do not patch up and bury their hatchet.

“And till such time the nation will continue to suffer. These things will continue to happen and principally the worst sufferer will be the Jammu and Kashmir state,” he said.

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