Published: Thursday, May 9, 2013

Pakistani prisoner dies in India

A Pakistani prisoner who was attacked by a fellow inmate at a high-security prison in Indian-administered Kashmir has died in hospital, doctors say.

Doctors say Sanaullah Ranjay, who was in a coma, died of multi-organ failure at a hospital in India’s Chandigarh city early on Thursday.

Ranjay suffered injuries in the attack at Kot Bhalwal jail in Jammu last week.

He has been in prison for the past 17 years on militancy-related charges.

“His condition was extremely critical. He died early morning,” a doctor at the hospital told the AFP news agency.

Ranjay was attacked by a former Indian army soldier convicted of murder after a row between the two men on 3 May, police said. The former soldier has been arrested and remanded to judicial custody.

The attack on Ranjay happened on the day that an Indian prisoner, who died after being attacked in a Pakistani jail, was cremated in India.

Sarabjit Singh, sentenced to death by Pakistan in 1991 for spying, had been attacked with bricks by inmates in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail a week earlier.

On Tuesday, two members of Ranjay’s family – brother-in-law Mohammed Sehzaad and nephew Mohammed Asif – visited him in hospital in India.

On Wednesday, India’s Supreme Court said it was “pained and concerned” at the attack on Ranjay and wondered why adequate steps were not being taken to protect prisoners.

“We are more concerned why such incidents are happening in jails. Lives of inmates are put in danger. It is a serious matter and can’t be accepted,” the court said.

India says the attack is being investigated and the “guilty will be punished”.

A foreign ministry spokesman said an “advisory had been issued to strengthen security for Pakistani prisoners in Indian jails”.

There were 535 Indian prisoners, including 483 fishermen, in Pakistani jails and 272 Pakistani prisoners in Indian jails, the spokesman said.