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Mar 27, 2013 at 02:54pm IST

J&K govt to approach Centre over Indian prisoner's death in Pakistan prison

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir government said on Wednesday it will approach the Foreign Ministry to seek the post-mortem report of Indian prisoner Chamel Singh, who died in a Pakistani jail. He was allegedly tortured to death in the prison, as claimed by some media reports.

An initial autopsy report has indicated wardens of the Pakistan prison allegedly beat up 40-year-old Chamel to death, where he was serving a term for illegally crossing the border. The Pakistan authorities have consistently denied that Chamel died at the hands of jailers.

Meanwhile, Minister of State for Home Sajjad Ahmad Kichloo said the jail official must be punished. "We will ask for a detailed post-mortem report and take up the issue with the MEA (Ministry of External Affairs)," he added.

His remarks came after a preliminary postmortem report of Indian prisoner 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. Chamel, said to be in his sixties, hailed from Jammu district.

Kichloo said the state government had taken the initiative in ensuring the return of the prisoner's body. Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Balbir Punj asked the government to make it clear to the neighbouring country that it will not tolerate this sort of inhumane behaviour.

"There has been repetition of such unfortunate incidents particularly in Pakistan, from the Pakistani side. Earlier they beheaded two 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," he said.

Punj said, "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.

Strongly condemning the circumstances leading to the death of the Indian prisoner, Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party demanded an inquiry into it and said the matter to be raised at the international level. It accused Pakistan of taking into custody people from Indian border areas and maltreating them.

Pakistani authorities had constituted a medical board to carry out an autopsy on Chamel's body about two months after his death. Chamel was declared dead on arrival by doctors at the state-run Jinnah Hospital on January 15.

(With Additional Inputs From PTI)