Pakistani prisoner dies in Indian jail after revenge beating

Its thought that 381 of the 944 inmates at Bannu's prison in north-western Pakistan escaped during the Taliban attack.
Credit: Jangir

NEW DELHI, India — A Pakistani prisoner died Thursday at an Indian jail after a revenge beating for the death of an Indian who was convicted as a spy in Pakistan.  

The prisoner, Sanaullah Haq, also known as Sanaullah Ranjay, died of multiple organ failure this morning. He suffered severe head injuries and had been in a coma since he was flown to a hospital last Friday. 

The 64-year-old was serving a life sentence in prison for his role in a 1990s bombing that killed 10 people. 

His beating was an apparent retaliation for the death of Sarabjit Singh, a farmer and convicted Indian spy who was beaten to death while serving his sentence in Pakistan. 

More from GlobalPost: Indian prisoner's death deals India-Pakistan relations another blow

"This was, put simply, the killing of our citizen while in the custody of Pakistan jail authorities," the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement about last week's attack

"The criminals responsible for the barbaric and murderous attack on him must be brought to justice," said Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in a statement.

Pakistan has called Haq's assault and death "condemnable" and demanded that India punish the attacker. 

Pakistan has requested that Haq's body be allowed to be airlifted back home. 

The deaths are the latest strain on relations between the two countries, which have been fraught over the course of three wars since the partition of British-ruled India in 1947.

Although the nations began a peace process in 2004, tensions remain high.

Pakistan's foreign ministry said the attack on Haq, who was convicted of perpetrating a terrorist attack on Indian soil, was a matter of grave concern, according to the Nation.

Meanwhile, a foreign office spokesman called for India to begin discussions on the conditions of Pakistanis held in Indian jails and start arrangements for the repatriation of convicts who have already completed their sentences.

That's something that civil society groups on both sides of the border have been asking for years. Hundreds of fishermen and farmers are in jail in both countries, many of them for straying across the countries' border.

The tit-for-tat killings have not heightened tensions significantly so far.

Haq's body will be flown home for burial.

India feted Sarabjit with full state honors when his body returned from Pakistan, although it had always maintained he was a simple farmer who blundered across the border.

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