Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sarabjit to be hanged on April 1

Islamabad, March 16
Indian national Sarabjit Singh, condemned to death for his alleged involvement in four bomb blasts in Pakistan in 1990, will be hanged in a prison in Lahore on April 1.

The death warrant for Sarabjit was received by the Kot Lakhpat jail authorities in Lahore where he has been held for the past 17 years and he will be executed on April 1, Urdu newspaper Daily Express reported today.

The mercy petition of Sarabjit, who Pakistan claims is Manjit Singh, was rejected by President Pervez Musharraf on March 3.

Sarabjit’s mercy petition was sent to Musharraf along with that of Indian prisoner Kashmir Singh, who was freed after spending 35 years on the death row in Pakistani jails.

There was no official confirmation of the development.

Sarabjit was sentenced to death for his alleged involvement in bomb blasts in Lahore and Multan that killed about 14 persons. His family denies he was a spy as claimed by Pakistan and insists he accidentally strayed into Pakistani territory. In his mercy petition sent to Musharraf, Sarabjit had sought his release on the grounds that he was innocent and wrongly implicated.

The petition was rejected by the President after “thorough consideration” as the allegations against him “were proved and he was awarded capital punishment by court”, official sources said.

Pakistan’s Supreme Court, too, had rejected Sarabjit’s plea for clemency in March, 2006.

Following the rejection of Sarabjit’s mercy petition by the President, the interior ministry had informed the government of Punjab province to take steps to carry out his death sentence. — PTI

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