In Pak to smuggle liquor, Sarabjit told court in ’91

Sarabjit Singh, the Indian prisoner on death row in Pakistan — convicted in serial blasts cases that killed 14 people about two decades ago in Lahore and Faislabad — had crossed the border to "smuggle liquor and was caught with two bottles of Peter Scot and $800". This, according to Sarabjit's statement before a special court in Pakistan on October 30, 1991.

The statement — a copy of which is with Sarabjit's lawyer Awais Sheikh, who is currently in Amritsar — under section 342 of CrPC was taken without oath and recorded before the judge of a special court.

"No. I crossed the border in connection with smuggling of liquir (read liquor) on the night between 29th and 30th of August 1990," said Sarabjit in his statement before the court when asked "is it a fact that you illegally crossed the Indian border on 30.8.90?"

In response to another query, Sarabjit had said: "I was arrested between the night of 29th and 30th August, 1990. No identity card was recovered from me. At that time, I was in possession of 800 dollars and two Peter Scot liquir (read liquor bottles)."

The statement negates his family's claims that Sarabjit had crossed over to Pakistan "inadvertently in an inebriated condition".

When contacted, his sister Dalbir Kaur denied that Sarabjit had crossed over to Pakistan to smuggle liquor. "My grandfather was in Army, my father was a driver with Punjab Roadways. No one in the family has had any remotest connection with smuggling," Dalbir said, adding that she did not know who wrote the statement on Sarabjit's behalf.

Sheikh, who has attached the said statement in Sarabjit's mercy petition before the Pakistan government, said he has also attached documents pointing out that Sarabjit was a victim of mistaken identity and the real accused in the case was Manjit Singh.

... contd.

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