Family of Pakistani prisoner, stoned to death in India, seeks justice

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SIALKOT: The grieving family of Shakirullah, who was brutally beaten and stoned to death by inmates in an Indian jail, has urged the government to take up his case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Shakirullah was murdered in Jaipur jail by fellow inmates a few days ago and his body was handed over to Pakistani authorities at Wagah border on Saturday.

He has been laid to rest in his native village Jessarwala-Daska near Sialkot.

Talking to the media on Sunday, family members of Shakirullah said that Pakistan must expose the “real face” of India. They said that Shakirullah was stoned to death by Hindu extremists in the jail, adding that his protection was a responsibility of the Indian government.

Indian authorities handed over the deceased’s body to Punjab Rangers at the Wagah-Attari border on Saturday in the presence of his family.

Shakirullah was beaten up by inmates and died on February 20. The release of his body came 12 days after his murder.

He was arrested in 2003 after mistakenly crossing the border. His family maintained that he was mentally unstable and was going to a fair in Shakargarh.

Pakistan had lodged a strong protest with the Pakistani High Commission and sought an explanation from Indian authorities regarding the incident.

The Foreign Office in a press release on February 21 had said that they had been informed that Shakirullah had sustained injuries following a “scuffle” between fellow inmates in the television room of the jail, “which proved fatal”.

The FO noted that as per some Indian media reports, Shakirullah was lynched.

“It is incomprehensible how a ‘scuffle’ between prisoners in an established government set up was allowed to escalate to the extent that Mr Shakirullah sustained fatal injuries,” the statement said.

According to The Hindu, the deceased was undergoing life imprisonment after his conviction in a terror-related case in Jaipur in 2017.