India Raises Issue of Kirpal's Death; Pakistan Says he Died of Heart Attack

Swaraj met Kirpal\'s family and conveyed that the government was making all efforts to get his mortal remains back.

Published: 13th April 2016 09:59 PM  |   Last Updated: 13th April 2016 10:00 PM   |  A+A-

Kirpla PTI

Jagir Kaur sister of Indian national Kirpal Singh who was languishing in a Lahore jail in Pakistanl for more than 20 years cries as she shows his photograph while mourning at news of his death in Amritsar Tuesday. | PTI

By PTI

NEW DELHI: India today raised the issue of Indian inmate Kirpal Singh's mysterious death with Pakistan authorities, who said he died of heart attack at a Lahore jail two days back even as the government has sought a probe into the matter.

India's Acting High Commissioner J P Singh met Director General (South Asia) in Pakistan Foreign Ministry in Islamabad following a directive from the Indian government in connection with death of Kirpal, who was languishing for nearly 25 years in jail in connection with a serial blasts case there.

"According to government of Pakistan, Kirpal Singh died on April 11 at 1455 hours due to heart attack. We await further details," Spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry Vikas Swarup said here.

He said India's Acting High Commissioner has also requested the Pakistan Foreign Ministry to investigate the incident and sought early repatriation of mortal remains of Kirpal.

Later, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met Kirpal's family and conveyed that the government was making all efforts to get his mortal remains back 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 will try to revive the Indo-Pak Judicial Committee dealing with thewelfare and overall status of prisioners 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 early transportation of Kirpal's mortal remains as also official information on the cause of the death and postmortem report.

50-year-old Kirpal was languishing in a Pakistani jail for nearly 25 years on spying charges. He had allegedly crossed over to Pakistan through Wagah border in 1992 and was arrested. He was subsequently sentenced to death in a serial bomb blasts 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, earlier said the family could not raise voice for his release due to financial constraints and no politician came forward to plead his case.

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