From Express Tribune
LAHORE: An Indian inmate at the Lahore Central Jail in Kot Lakhpat died under mysterious circumstances.
Chamail Singh, son of Salaar Singh, is a 48-year-old resident of Targwal Khalkay village, Akhnoor tehsil, in Jammu, who was imprisoned on spying charges after a military trial sentence in June 2012.
The beating was witnessed by another inmate, Tehsin Khan Advocate, who was able to speak about it as he was freed three days later on January 18. He told The Express Tribune that at 7:45am on January 15 Singh was washing his clothes at a tap in the jail’s courtyard when two chakar imdadis or hawaldars, Muhammad Sidique and Muhammad Nawaz, and Assistant Superintendent of Jail (ASJ) Nasir Nawaz stopped him for doing so.
“Does he think the jail is his home where he can wash his clothes wherever he wants?” Khan quoted Nawaz as saying.
When Singh responded, the hawaldars started beating him on Nawaz’s orders. The ASJ himself allegedly pounded Singh with his fists. Kicks drew blood from Singh’s upper lip and brow. The three men continued to beat him for a minute, at the end of which he was dead, claimed Khan.
The jailors dispatched the body to the prison hospital before rushing to barrack No. 4 where Singh had been kept. According to Khan, eight affidavits were then extracted from his fellow inmates, all Indian nationals, to the effect that it was a ‘natural’ death. Aided by another inmate Zeeshan, the prisoners who signed the papers were Maqbool Ali, Mohammad Fareed, Kuldeep Kumar, Javed Singh and Lakhu Ram, Shabu Nath. This was all done in the absence of a magistrate.
The affidavits state that Singh lit a cigarette after washing his clothes and died of natural causes. He was rushed to hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Singh’s body has been in the Jinnah Hospital mortuary for 12 days. Assistant Superintendant of Police Muhammad Sarwar confirms that he had received the body from the jail and taken it to the hospital.
ASJ Nasir Nawaz was contacted several times by The Express Tribune, but he did not respond. Additional Superintendant Ishtiaq Gill denied, claims, that Singh was beaten to death.
(Courtesy of Express Tribune)