Sarabjit’s family celebrates hanging postponement


Bhikhiwind (Punjab) : This Punjab town Saturday woke up to drum beats as the family and friends of Sarabjit Singh celebrated the news that Pakistan had indefinitely put off the Indian prisoner’s hanging.

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A large number of people shared their joy with Sarabjit Singh’s family at their modest single-storey house here, 50 km from Amritsar. Sarabjit Singh is on a death row in Pakistan on charges of exploding bombs.

Sarabjit Singh’s elder sister Dalbir Kaur, who has been leading the campaign to save him, distributed sweets to he visitors. Some neighbours and family friends did `bhangra’ to the beat of drums.

“I hope that he is released soon. This is such great news for us. I want to thank the Pakistan government for this,” Dalbir Kaur told reporters here.

Sarabjit’s wife Sukhpreet and daughters, Swapandeep and Poonam, were equally elated.

The Pakistan decision “gives us a lot of hope. We wish that he is released early”, Poonam said.

The family had returned from Lahore this week after meeting Sarabjit Singh for the first time in 18 years at Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail.

While the family says that Sarabjit Singh is innocent and crossed into Pakistan inadvertently in an inebriated state in August 1990, the Pakistani authorities have accused him of terrorist activities.

He was found guilty by Pakistani courts of exploding two bombs in Lahore and Multan cities in 1990 in which 14 people were killed.

Sarabjit Singh is known as Manjit Singh in Pakistan.

He was to be hanged March 31 but it was put off following the intervention of the Indian government. The hanging was again postponed for another three weeks Thursday. It has now been postponed indefinitely.