New Delhi: As Pakistani authorities denied that Indian prisoner Chamel Singh had died after being assaulted by jail staff, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said Monday that India was waiting for a full and detailed report on the circumstances of his death.
Khurshid, asked if he accepted Pakistan’s explanation of the death, said: “I don’t have to take Pakistan’s explanation… We are awaiting the autopsy, and when a full report is given to us and detailed investigation report given, we will be able to reflect on it.”
Asked when India would be given the report, he said: “We have been told that it will be given to us.”
A senior official of Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore, where Chamel Singh died in January, had Sunday termed as “malicious Indian propaganda” the reports that Singh died after allegedly being tortured in the jail and said a stroke was the reason.
Singh, said to be in his 60s and serving a five-year-term for espionage, had died at the state-run Jinnah Hospital on Jan 15. During an autopsy done on March 13 – nearly two months after his death – marks of injury had reportedly been found on Singh’s body.
Rafiq Chaudhry, senior superintendent of Central Jail, Kot Lakhpat, said Chamel Singh, a native of Jammu & Kashmir, had suffered a stroke while working in the compound of Barrack No. 4 with other Indians and was rushed to the nearby Jinnah Hospital. However, he died on the way to hospital.
Soon after Chamel Singh’s death, reports surfaced that he had been beaten up by prison staff for washing clothes in the prison compound.
In view of the media reports, an enquiry was conducted after which the post-mortem was done on March 13 and the body handed over to the Indian High Commission soon after.
The Indian High Commission has requested the Pakistan’s Foreign Office for a copy of the post-mortem report, but it has not been yet handed over.