Pakistani prisoner beaten in India in tit-for-tat assault

Indian prisoner died one day earlier after attack in Lahore jail

Asia Correspondent

A Pakistani prisoner being held in an Indian jail has been attacked and seriously injured in a tit-for-tat assault one day after the death of an Indian prisoner in a jail in Lahore.

Indian officials confirmed that prisoner Sanaullah Haq was badly beaten by a fellow inmate in a prison in the city of Jammu. Reports said he was transferred to a hospital in Chandigargh with head injuries. India's foreign ministry said he was in a stable condition.

The attack on Mr Haq happened as the Indian authorities held a cremation ceremony for Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh who died on Thursday following an attack in a Lahore jail a week ago. Mr Singh, who was accused of spying for India and who was convicted over bomb attacks that left 14 people dead, had been a ventilator since he was attacked by an inmate armed with a brick on April 26.

Mr Singh's family, and subsequently the Indian government, denied the allegations made by the Pakistanis. He was cremated in his native village in north India's Punjab state with local and national politicians among the guests and a 21-gun salute.

Among those who joined mourners was Rahul Gandhi, widely tipped to a future prime minister of India and the son of the late Rajiv Gandhi. Thousands of people carried flags and chanted "death to Pakistan"

India's prime minister, Manmohan Singh, had said the attack on Mr Singh had been "barbaric". By contrast a spokesman for the Indian foreign ministry termed the assault upon the Pakistani prisoner as "regrettable".

Mr Haq was imprisoned in 1999 and was sentenced to life in prison in 2009 for being a Pakistani militant operating in Indian Kashmir. The charges against him included murder and waging war against India. The Associated Press said the attack on Friday happened after he had got into an argument with a prisoner as the two smoked in the jail compound.

That prisoner was identified as Vinod Kumar, a court-martialled Indian soldier who is also serving a life term for murder. The Indian authorities said an investigation had been launched into what took place and that the prison chief and another official had been suspended.

The incident is embarrassing for the authorities given that an order had supposedly been given to step-up security for Pakistani prisoners following the death of Mr Singh.

The Indian government said there are currently 535 Indian prisoners in Pakistani jails and 272 Pakistani prisoners in Indian jails. India has proposed a meeting of officials in both countries to "identify and put in place further measures to avoid such tragic incidents in future".

Pakistan;s Foreign Ministry called the Jammu jail attack an "obvious retaliation" for the killing of the Indian prisoner.

"This obvious retaliation to the death of Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh is condemnable," ministry spokesman Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry said in a statement. "We would also remind the government of India of its responsibility in ensuring the safety and security of all Pakistani prisoners lodged in Indian jails."

A spokesman for India's Ministry of External Affairs, Syed Akbaruddin, said Indian officials were ensuring that Mr Haq gets the medical treatment he requires and would grant consular access to him as soon as his condition stabilises.

Pakistan has requested that Mr Haq be allowed to return to Pakistan on humanitarian grounds - a request also made by India for Mr Singh but which was refused.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
football This was Kane’s night, even if he played just a small part of it
Travel
travel Dreamland Margate, Britain’s oldest amusement park, is set to reopen
News
news
News
Founders James Brown and Tim Southwell with a mock-up of the first ever ‘Loaded’ magazine in 1994
media
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...

Recruitment Genius: SEO Executive

£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: New Lift Sales Executive - Lift and Elevators

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A challenging opportunity for a...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss