Indian prisoner in Pakistan Sarabjit Singh died early on Thursday morning in Pakistan's Jinnah Hospial where he was admitted after he was brutally assaulted by fellow prisoners on 26 April.
Sarabjit had slipped into a coma, and breathed his last this morning. India woke up to the news that has certainly stirred the hornet's nest, with the BJP demanding strict action by the government and the prime minister gravely condemning the incident.
Here are some reactions:
Sarabjit Singh's sister Dalbir Kaur: God knows how many people tortured Sarabjit. Whether we are BJP or Congress we have to support Shinde ji and Manmohan ji. Earlier Pakistan stabbed Vajpayee's back and today they have stabbed Manmohan Singh. Pakistani activist Ansar Burney cheated us. Had I paid Rs 25 crore to Burney, Sarabjit would have returned to India.
Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde: We are speaking to Pakistan authorities to send Sarabjit’s body as soon as possible. The family can conduct last rites where they please. We requested Pakistan to pardon Sarabjit till the last moment. We had told Pakistan that his was a case of mistaken identity.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh: The criminals responsible for the barbaric and murderous attack on Sarabjit Singh must be brought to justice. I regret that Pakistan did not heed pleas of India and Sarabjit’s family for taking a humanitarian view in this case. The government will make arrangements to bring home remains of Sarabjit and conduct his last rites. May his soul be granted the peace that he could not enjoy in life. The nation shares his family’s profound grief with them.
Minister of Externel Affairs Salman Khurshid: We are extremely distressed. Details of what has happened we would like to share with Parliament. Sustainable and long lasting relationship between two countries has to be between people. That relation between the two countries has been hurt by what has happened today. My heart goes out to the family and I pray God gives them strength.
Union Minister of State Manish Tewari: An Indian citizen has been murdered in cold blood in the custody of the Pakistani state. The Pakistani establishment must account for it. Our hearts and minds are with the family. BJP wants to politicise every issue. Even in a moment of grief the only thing these people can think about is politics.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi: Both, the Government of India & Government of Pakistan have misled people on Sarabjit Singh issue. The truth on this issue must come out. Sarabjit Singh’s demise is very sad. May his soul rest in peace. May God give strength to his family to bear this loss.
BJP leader Syed Shahnawaz Hussain: Sarabjit Singh's death has unmasked the Pakistani government. Sarabjit was India's son and he should be declared a martyr. The incident has soured Indo-Pak ties.
BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad: This is a cold blooded murder. I am very pained about the gross indifference of the government of India.
Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj: It is a cold blooded murder. This is not the way civilized nations behave.
Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal: Sarabjit dies. Leaves behind many questions.
Sarabjit Singh's lawyer Awais Sheikh: One can never expect in a country in a civilised world that a prisoner could be brutally murdered like this. I have been associated with Sarabjit for the last 4 years. And I can tell you what a nice man he was. I informed the jail authorities that he was under threat, but still they failed to protect him. I blame jail authorities for his death. This happened because of their negligence.
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal: Government of India too dithered and dilly-dallied in reacting to the attack on him (Sarabjit). Was enough done to save him? Steps by government of India to secure his release earlier were weak and totally inadequate.
Sarabjit's family friend Raj Kumar Verka: The Pakistan government was doing drama by putting Sarabjit on ventilator. Pakistan fooled his family. Pakistan did not allow family to meet Sarabjit because they did not want them to realise that he is dead.
Updated Date: May 02, 2013 11:16 AM