Kirpal Singh's body arrives in India: Fresh post-mortem yet to establish cause of death

Attari: The body of Indian prisoner Kirpal Singh, who died under mysterious circumstances in a Pakistani jail, arrived at Attari on Tuesday in the presence of tearful family members and was handed over to Indian authorities who said it would be given to the family after a fresh post-mortem.

A family member holds up Kirpal Singh's photograph. AFP

A family member holds up Kirpal Singh's photograph. AFP

Kirpal's family members, including his sister Jagir Kaur, Punjab Cabinet Minister Gulzar Singh Ranike and Amritsar Deputy Commissioner Varun Roojam, besides other senior officials, were present at the Joint check post at the Wagah border to receive the body.

The body, in a coffin, was carried by porters on the Indian side even as family members showered flowers on the coffin.

The body was taken in a van to the Amritsar civil hospital for a post-mortem examination.

The post-mortem was unable to establish the cause of death, said Ashok Sharma, head of the panel that conducted the post-mortem, reported ANI. It will be established once the panel goes through report of chemical examiner and the previous post-mortem, he was quoted as saying.

The panel also did not find any signs of foul play, he said.

Pakistani authorities had attributed his death to heart attack, but his family has alleged he was murdered in prison.

Kirpal's nephew said that the family wants another post mortem as there are injury marks on his face and body, reported ANI.

Dalbir Kaur, sister of another Indian Sarabjit Singh, who too had died in a Pakistani jail in May 2013, was also present at Attari. An official posted at Attari border said the body would be handed over to the family for performing last rites after a postmortem examination, which is to be conducted at the "earliest".

Struggling to hold back her tears, Jagir said the family would perform Kirpal's last rites in Gurdaspur once his body was handed over to them.

Kirpal Singh had allegedly crossed Wagah border into Pakistan in 1992 and was arrested. He was subsequently sentenced to death in a serial bomb blasts case in Pakistan's Punjab province. Kirpal was found dead in his cell last Monday at Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore. A post-mortem examination had been done in Pakistan. Kirpal, from Gurdaspur, had reportedly been acquitted in the case by the Lahore High Court but his death sentence could not be commuted because of unknown reasons.

Kirpal Singh, the family has maintained, had inadvertently crossed into Pakistan and was arrested and charged with spying by Pakistan authorities.

Kirpal's family had met union home minister Rajnath Singh and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in New Delhi last week to seek immediate repatriation of his body to India.

The Punjab government has offered to extend all help and relief to Kirpal's family on the same lines as given to Sarabjit Singh, who was murdered in the same prison in Lahore in April 2013.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Apr 19, 2016 18:52:34 IST

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