Brutalised Pak prisoner dies; India moots humane treatment pact

Pakistani prisoner Sanaullah Ranjay, who was beaten up by fellow-inmates of a jail in Jammu last week in an apparent retaliation for the beating to death of Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh in a Pakistani jail, died this morning.

Doctors at the PGI Hospital in Chandigarh, where Sanaullah was being treated, said the convicted terrorist died at 5.30 am following multiple organ failure. He had been in coma since he was flown in to Chandigarh last Friday. On Wednesday, he suffered kidney failure.

The development undermines the moral high ground that India was hoping for in the wake of the attack on Sarabjit Singh on 26 April. The attack on Sanaullah came a day after Singh died in a Pakistani Jail.

Sanaullah, 52, was serving a life term at Jammu's Kot Bhalwal Jail.

The body of the prisoner will be handed over to Pakistan, said home minister Sushilkumar Shinde. He said the ministry of external affairs is coordinating with the Pakistani authorities to complete the formalities to send his body home. "Once the formalities are done, we will hand over the body," he said.

Two members of Sanaullah's family arrived in Chandigarh from Pakistan on Tuesday.

The government has been informed that Pakistan is arranging an aircraft to fly his body back home.

An external affairs ministry spokesperson said India will facilitate Pakistan's request to repatriate the body of Sanaullah and will provide necessary assistance.

In view of the tragic events, including the killing of two Indians in Pakistani jails and the Sanaullah incident, India has proposed that the officials of the two countries meet and take forward the recommendations of a judicial committee on humane treatment of prisoners, he said.

A Pakistani response to the proposal is awaited, the spokesperson said.