A Pakistani national, who had been remanded in custody after illegally crossing into Indian territory, was on Saturday found hanging at the Amphalla District Jail in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Showkat Ali,42,son of Barkat Ali hailing from Pind Sail Jathan in Sialkot,Pakistan was found hanging from the iron grill of a toilet inside a jail barrack at midnight,” a senior police officer said.
According to him, it was an apparent case of suicide and “The prisoner had used waist gear to hang himself.”
Furthermore, the official said Ali was lodged in barrack number nine, where 27 other inmates including Pakistani and Bangladeshi prisoners were housed. “An inmate from Ali’s barrack informed us of his death,” he said. Meanwhile, a team of doctors from the Government Medical College (GMC) Jammu performed the autopsy, which ruled out any foul play. “No torture marks were found on the body,” sources said.
Top police officials, including Director General(Prisons) K Rajendra visited the jail on Saturday and took stock of the situation.
Ali, according to police, had been arrested in 2011 after he strayed into Indian territory. And an FIR was registered against him at the Arnia police station in Jammu following which Ali was sent to Amphalla jail.
An unnamed police official said the deceased had been picked up for illegally crossing the Line of Control(LoC) and that there was no evidence of Ali’s links to terror outfits.
“During investigations, nothing was established against him for having links with Pakistan intelligence agencies or militants”.
A top police officer said the death of Pakistani national will be thoroughly investigated. “A Magisterial inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the exact cause of death of the Pakistani prisoner,” he said.
Interestingly Ali had been nabbed for illegally crossing the LoC earlier in 2008. However, he had been repatriated by the Indian authorities then.
Ali is the second Pakistani prisoner to die in a jail in the state within a year. On May 9, fellow Pakistani Sanaullah Ranjay,52, died of severe injuries sustained in an attack by other inmates at the Kotbhalwal Jail in Jammu.
Ranjay was apparently targeted in a tit-for-tat response for the cold-blooded murder of Indian death row prisoner Sarabjit Singh in Lahore’s notorious Kot Lakhpat Jail.