Sarabjit Singh dies at Pakistan’s Jinnah hospital

LAHORE/ ISLAMABAD: Indian death row prisoner Sarabjit Singh died in a Lahore hospital late on Wednesday night after being comatose for six days following a brutal assault by other inmates of a high-security jail, officials said.

“I received a call from the doctor on duty (at Jinnah Hospital) at 1 am (1:30 IST) informing me that Sarabjit is no more,” Mahmood Shaukat, the head of a medical board that was supervising Sarabjit’s treatment, said.

Officials of the Indian high commission in Islamabad said they had been informed by officials of Jinnah Hospital about Sarabjit’s death.

Shaukat said authorities were yet to decide on conducting an autopsy of Sarabjit’s body.

Asked whether the autopsy would be done after getting permission from the government, he said: “At the moment I have no idea.”

No decision had been made about handing over the body to Sarabjit’s kin or to Indian authorities, he said.

“These matters will be worked out according to the directions from the government,” he said.

Earlier in the day, official sources in Lahore had said Sarabjit had slipped into a “non-reversible” coma and this could lead to “brain death”.

His measurements on the Glasgow Coma Scale, which indicates the levels of consciousness and damage to a person’s central nervous system, had dropped to a “critical level”, the sources said.

Sarabjit’s heart was beating “but without brain function” because of the extensive head injuries he sustained when he was assaulted on Friday, a source said.

Sarabjit was completely unresponsive and unable to breathe without ventilator support.

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