India raises Kirpal’s issue, Pak says he died of heart attack
India on Wednesday raised the issue of Indian inmate Kirpal Singh’s mysterious death with the Pakistan authorities, who said he died of heart attack at a Lahore jail two days ago. The government has sought a probe into the matter.
India’s Acting High Commissioner JP Singh met Director General (South Asia) in the Pakistan Foreign Ministry in Islamabad, following a directive from the Indian government in connection with the death of Kirpal, who was languishing in a Pakistani jail for nearly 25 years in connection with a serial blast case in the country.
“According to government of Pakistan, Kirpal Singh died on April 11 at 1455 hours due to heart attack. We await further details,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.
He added that India’s Acting High Commissioner had appealed to the Pakistan Foreign Ministry to investigate the incident and had sought early repatriation of Kirpal’s mortal remains.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met Kirpal’s family and conveyed that the government was trying its best to get his mortal remains to India as early as possible. “Comforting a family in grief. EAM @SushmaSwaraj meets with relatives of Shri Kirpal Singh, who died in Pakistan,” Swarup tweeted.
She also informed the family that India would try to revive the Indo-Pak Judicial Committee dealing with the welfare and overall status of prisoners of India and Pakistan lodged in each other’s jails. The Committee has not met for the last couple of years.
Earlier, Swarup had said that India’s acting high commissioner was instructed to seek a meeting at the highest possible level in Pakistan Foreign Office for the early transportation of Kirpal’s mortal remains as also official information on the cause of the death and postmortem report.
Kirpal, 50, had allegedly crossed over to Pakistan through the Wagah border in 1992 and was arrested. He was subsequently sentenced to death in a serial bomb blast case in Pakistan’s Punjab province.
Kirpal, who hailed from Gurdaspur, was reportedly acquitted of charges related to bomb blasts by the Lahore High Court, but his death sentence could not be commuted due to unknown reasons.
Jagir Kaur, Kirpal’s sister, had earlier said that the family could not raise its voice for his release due to financial constraints and no politician came forward to plead his case.