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Sarabjit's family appeals to Indian government to bring him back home


Suhasini Haidar,CNN-IBN
Apr 29, 2013 at 08:23am IST

Lahore: Injured Indian prisoner in Pakistan Sarabjit Singh's health has shown no signs of improvement. Doctors treating him in Lahore have said his chances of survival are slim. His family, who is by his side, is asking the Indian government to bring him back home for treatment after he was brutally attacked in jail.

While that may or may not happen, Pakistan has relented and given consular access to him. On Sunday, his family members met him at the hospital and Sarabjit's sister Dalbir Kaur said he was in an extremely tragic condition. "His stomach was bloated. His face was swollen up. He was beaten up so badly," she told CNN-IBN after her visit.

ALSO SEE Pak allows consular access to Sarabjit, says family can visit him 'whenever they want'

Pakistan on Sunday evening granted permission for consular access to Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh who was attacked by his jail inmates on Friday afternoon. In a statement, the Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, "Pakistan government has provided second consular access to Indian diplomats stationed in Lahore. The family members will be able to visit Sarabjit Singh whenever they want."

Sarabjit's family is by his side praying for his recovery and asking the Indian government to bring him back home, his lawyer has said the attack on Sarabjit is part of a right wing conspiracy. "Officials must probe whether right wing extremists planned the attack. There's no point asking the Pakistani leadership to save Sarabjit now. Pakistani officials must find out how rods and bricks got into the prison," Sarabjit's lawyer Awais Sheikh said.

CNN-IBN also spoke to a neurosurgeon at the Jinnah Hospital, who is part of a team attending to Sarabjit. "He is critically ill and there are still chances of survival we are trying our best he is suffering from sever head injury. I can't say what are the chances really. We are looking at his condition from minute to minute and the next 48 hours are quite significant. His brain is swollen," the doctor said.

Meanwhile, Indian High Commission officials visited Sarabjit on Sunday in the hospital following a brutal assault, for the second time in as many days after permission was granted by Pakistani authorities following an initial denial. "The officials visited Singh in the Lahore hospital. His condition remains unchanged," a spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs said.

Sarabjit was brought to the hospital after a deadly attack by his fellow jail inmates. The Pakistan government "provided second consular access to Indian diplomats presently stationed in Lahore", said a statement issued by Foreign Office spokesman Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry.

The Indian officials were asked to coordinate with the Foreign Ministry's Deputy Chief of Protocol, Camp Office Lahore and the medical superintendent of Jinnah Hospital for consular arrangements, Chaudhry said.

(With additional information from PTI)

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