Centre seeks consular access to Indian attacked in Pakistan prison

Published: 08th August 2016 04:20 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th August 2016 04:20 AM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI: India on Sunday expressed concern over the repeated attacks by inmates on an Indian engineer imprisoned in Pakistan jail and sought consular access to him.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has directed the Indian High Commissioner in Pakistan to seek consular access to Hamid Nehal Ansari, a resident of Mumbai who had entered Pakistan illegally via Afghanistan after allegedly falling in love with an Afghan girl. Ansari has suffered injuries after inmates in Peshawar Central Prison attacked him.

Taking cognizance of the development, Swaraj tweeted: “I am very much disturbed to read about repeated attacks on Hamid Ansari who is detained in Peshawar jail since 2012. It is inhuman.”  “I have asked our High Commissioner in Pakistan to seek Consular access to Hamid Ansari in hospital/jail and report,” she tweeted.

The 31-year-old engineer is serving three-year jail term awarded by a military court for ‘spying’ and for possessing fake Pakistani identity card. Three years ago when he was 27, Ansari left his home saying he was heading to Afghanistan in search of a job. His family later found out that he fell in love with a girl from the Kohat region of western Pakistan.

The recent development in the case started as Ansari’s lawyer Qazi Mohammad Anwar submitted in the Peshawar High Court that his client was attacked by the jail inmates thrice and has been shifted to a hospital for treatment. It is reported that Ansari has been kept in a cell meant for criminals awaiting execution for murder. Also he has been subjected to physical assaults and slaps on a daily basis. The petition has requested the court to summon the superintendent of the jail, where Ansari was attacked.

“Through our High Commission in Islamabad, the government has raised the matter of Ansari’s well-being and his early release. We have also requested consular access and requested the Government of Pakistan to allow him to speak to his family,” MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.

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