Pak prisoner is attacked in Jammu jail, seriously injured

FPPakistani prisoner Sanaullah being taken to a Jammu hospital Friday

Both Pakistan and India should continue to make sincere efforts to avoid the occurrence of such incidents and focus on issues of safety and security of prisoners in each other's prisons in existing forums under the composite dialogue process, he said.

Indian government sources said that Sanaullah's condition was stable but he remained under medical watch. He was attacked around 8 am when the jail inmates were out of their cells for routine work.

According to a preliminary probe, Sanaullah - who is serving a life term after being convicted under TADA provisions following his arrest in 1999 - was working in the garden with other prisoners and entered into an argument with Vinod Kumar, a fellow inmate serving a life term in another case.

Official sources said the argument turned violent and Kumar, an ex-serviceman from Uttarakhand, hit Sanaullah with bricks and a shovel on his head. The Pakistani prisoner was lying unconscious in a pool of blood before other inmates could intervene, jail officials said.

A case has been registered against Kumar. Two prison officers, including jail superintendent Rajni Sehgal, have been suspended by the Jammu and Kashmir government which also ordered an inquiry by the Divisional Commissioner (Jammu). Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde too ordered an inquiry into the incident.

Within hours of the incident, the Ministry of External Affairs called it "regrettable" and said the matter was being investigated and the guilty will be punished.

The Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi sought consular access, and also demanded that Sanaullah be "released urgently and repatriated to Pakistan for medical treatment and on humanitarian grounds". They also asked for facilitation for allowing an air ambulance to airlift him.

MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said that Sanaullah was receiving treatment and once the medical arrangements were in place, consular access will be provided. By evening, consular access and permission to travel to Chandigarh was granted to three Pakistani High Commission officials and a driver.

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