Omar Abdullah apologises to Pakistani prisoner's family

New Delhi, May 9 : Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister on Thursday offered sincere apologies to the family of Pakistan prisoner Sanaullah, who died in a hospital in Chandigarh on Thursday morning, days after being assaulted in Jammu's Kot Bhalwal Jail.

"Although it's scant consolation, I'd like to offer a sincere apology to the family of Sanaullah Haq and my sympathies for their loss," Abdullah wrote on Twitter.

"While the inquiry will fix responsibility for any dereliction of duty, the fact that this is happening at all is a matter of great regret," he said

He also thanked doctors at the Government Medical College Hospital in Jammu and Chandigarh's PGIMER Hospital for their efforts in trying to save the life of the Pakistan prisoner.

"I'd also like to add a word of thanks to the doctors and staff at GMC Jammu and PGI Chandigarh for their valiant efforts to save Sanaullah," he said further.

Sanaullah, 52, a convicted terrorist serving a life sentence in Jammu's Kot Bhalwal Jail, was undergoing treatment at the PGIMER, after being hit with a brick by a fellow inmate on May 3. The attack followed a similar fatal assault in a Lahore jail on Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh on April 26.

"The patient had become extremely critical. He had developed renal failure with no urine output since morning. Hence, he was put on peritoneal dialysis by nephrologists," a medical bulletin released on Wednesday said.

Sanaullah's death came a day after the Supreme Court rejected his repatriation to Pakistan, citing his incomplete jail term as the reason.

The Supreme Court had also sought an explanation from the Centre and the Jammu and Kashmir Government as to why adequate steps were not taken to prevent the assault on Sanaullah.

"The respondents shall explain as to why adequate steps were not taken in advance to avoid the physical assault on May 3 on prisoner Sanaullah, lodged in Kot Balwal Jail in Jammu," an apex court bench headed by Justice R.M. Lodha said, while issuing notices to the Central and the state governments.

The apex court had also sought details about the action taken against the erring jail officials, besides asking the Centre and the state government to ensure that such incidents do not recur.

During the hearing, the two-judge bench, also comprising Justice Kurian Joseph, expressed its anguish over the incident inside the Jammu jail, saying, "This is a very serious matter".

Sanaullah died with two members of his family by his side.

Sanaullah's brother-in-law Mohammed Sehzaad and nephew Mohammed Asif had arrived in Chandigarh via Amritsar through the Wagah-Attari border earlier this week.

--ANI (Posted on 09-05-2013)

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