Punjab assembly mourns Sarabjit's death, terms him martyr

Chandigarh, May 3 : A special session of the Punjab assembly Friday paid homage to Sarabjit Singh, the Indian prisoner who died after a murderous attack in a prison in Pakistan.

The assembly passed a resolution describing Sarabjit Singh as a "martyr of the nation".

The assembly mourned the death of Sarabjit Singh and members stood in silence to pay homage to him. No discussion took place in the assembly in this regard.

Sarabjit received fatal injuries in Lahore's Kot Lakhpat jail April 26 when he was brutally assaulted with bricks and plates.

He had been arrested in Pakistan after crossing the international border in August 1990. His family said he was inebriated at the time. Pakistan charged him with being an Indian spy who had carried out bomb blasts in Lahore and Multan in 1990, which left 14 people dead and many others injured. He was awarded the death penalty by Pakistani courts but his hanging was stayed indefinitely in April 2009.

Pakistani security agencies said that he was Manjit Singh who was responsible for the blasts. His family claimed that his was a case of mistaken identity and he had nothing to do with the blasts in Pakistan.

The assembly session had originally been summoned by the Punjab governor to discuss the situation arising out of the central government's move to impose wealth tax on agricultural land falling within eight kilometres of urban centres.

However, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram clarified in the Lok Sabha that no wealth tax was being imposed on agricultural land and said that an amendment had been brought in the Income Tax Act to set the matter to rest. Following this, not much was left to discuss in the emergency session of the Punjab assembly Friday.

--IANS (Posted on 03-05-2013)

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