Families of two Indian soldiers, Mangal Singh and Ram Das, who are reportedly being held at Pakistan’s Kot Lakhpat jail since the 1971 war, have asked the central government to take the matter up with Pakistan, after an Indian prisoner there died on Monday under mysterious circumstances, reports The Indian Express.
Pakistan on Wednesday informed India that Indian inmate Kirpal Singh died of a heart attack at a jail in Lahore two days back after the issue of his mysterious death was taken up with the Pakistani authorities even as the government said it was awaiting further details in the case.
"After Sarabjit, it is now Kirpal who has died under mysterious circumstances and the same may happen to Mangal Singh and Ram Das," members from both the families told The Indian Express.
The two soldiers, who were initially assumed dead and declared "martyr" after the 1971 war by the Indian government, have been in Pakistan custody for over forty years.
India's Acting High Commissioner JP Singh met Director General (South Asia) in Pakistan Foreign Ministry in Islamabad following a directive from the Indian government in connection with death of Kirpal Singh, who was languishing for nearly 25 years in jail in connection with a serial blasts case there.
"According to government of Pakistan, Shri Kirpal Singh died on 11 April 11 at 1455 hours due to heart attack. We await further details," Spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry Vikas Swarup said.
He said India's Acting High Commissioner has also requested the Pakistan Foreign Ministry official for earliest possible repatriation of mortal remains of Kirpal Singh.
50-year-old Kirpal was languishing in a Pakistani jail for nearly 25 years on spying charges. He had allegedly crossed over to Pakistan through Wagah border in 1992 and was arrested.
He was subsequently sentenced to death in a serial bomb blasts case in Pakistan's Punjab province.
Kirpal, who hailed from Gurdaspur, was reportedly acquitted of charges related to bomb blasts by the Lahore High Court but his death sentence could not be commuted due to unknown reasons.
Jagir Kaur, Kirpal's sister, earlier said the family could not raise voice for his release due to financial constraints and no politician came forward to plead his case.
The government asked India's acting envoy to seek a meeting with the Pakistan Foreign Office in connection with Kirpal's death under mysterious circumstances and seek early transfer of the mortal remains.
"On Kirpal Singh, our acting high commissioner in Islamabad has been instructed to seek a meeting at the highest possible level in Pakistan Foreign Office this forenoon to seek early transportation of Singh's mortal remains," Swarup said earlier.
With inputs from PTI