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The murder of Sarabjit Singh & targeted killing of Amir Tanba

Lahore, April 14, 2024
Sarabjit Singh, the Indian prisoner who was attacked and murdered by fellow inmates at a jail in Pakistan’s Lahore, before his demise, gave a fickle ray of hope to his family members and well-wishers about his release, only to later find himself entangled in a series of confusing developments, as it was revealed that Surjeet Singh, and not Sarabjit Singh, would be released.

The episode dates back to June 2012. Surjeet Singh, who had spent at least three decades in Pakistani jails on charges of spying, was scheduled to be released from Lahore central jail (Kot Lakhpat Jail), and he was to be handed-over to the Indian authorities via Wagah-Attari border.

However, the initial report mentioned the name of Sarabjit Singh instead of Surjeet Singh, making Sarabjit part of the spotlight momentarily, as he was not the one who was going back home.

At that time, the legal representative of Indian prisoners in Pakistani jails, Awais Sheikh, had revealed that after the successful transfer of Surjeet Singh to India, the next in line was Sarabjit Singh, who would be crossing over the Wagah border and reuniting with his family.

It is believed that since then, the attitude of inmates towards Sarabjit Singh had changed, and there were also reports of some incidents of attacks on him as well. That was why the authorities had shifted Sarabjit Singh to a separate cell.

Prisoners on death row are kept in separate areas of the prison, away from other inmates.

The whole episode of the killing of Sarabjit Singh was shrouded in suspicion as the attack by Amir Tanba and Muddasar Munir remained under question as many concerns about the attack in Kot Lakhpat Jail remained a mystery.

While the Pakistan government maintained that Sarabjit Singh was brought to the Jinnah Hospital in critical condition and was kept in the hospital for at least 5 days before being declared dead, there were many local sources who confirmed that he had died while being brought to the hospital from the jail.

Other sources also stated that the reason behind keeping his dead body in the hospital for 5 days was to “fade away” the case of Sarabjit being killed inside the Kot Lakhpat jail and avoid any further extension to the controversy behind his murder.

It remains a mystery how a death row convict like Amir Tanba was able to get a release from jail and then be targeted at his residence in Lahore on Sunday.

Locals of Islampura area where Amir Tanba was gunned down told IANS that he died of excessive bleeding, a news confirmed by his family sources.

“He was hit with four bullets,” said one of the local residents of Islampura.

One of his close family members confirmed to IANS that Amir was shot dead by two gunmen who had entered the house and opened fire on him.

“Tanba was shot twice in the chest and twice in the legs,” a police officer said.

“One attacker was wearing a helmet and the other was wearing a mask,” said Junaid Sarfaraz, brother of Amir Sarfaraz a.k.a. Tanba.

A case has been registered into the murder of Amir Tanba and an investigation has been launched.(Agency)

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