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New Delhi returns body of Pakistani prisoner killed in India jail

New Delhi returns body of Pakistani prisoner killed in India jail

WAGAH/LAHORE: India has handed over the body of a Pakistani prisoner who was killed while serving jail time in the northern state of Rajasthan.

Shakirullah was stoned to death by other inmates at Jaipur Central Jail on Feb. 20, following weeks of anti-Pakistan sentiment in the wake of a suicide attack that killed more than 40 Indian soldiers.

The body of the slain inmate was handed over at the Wagah-Attari border post a day after Pakistan released Indian pilot, Abhinandan Varthaman, as a peace gesture.

Pakistan’s Ansar Burney Trust and its high commission in New Delhi helped with the repatriation of the body, which was kept in a Rajasthan morgue.

Shakirullah’s brother and his wife had protested at the border post on Friday, urging Pakistan not to free the Indian pilot until the body had been returned. “My brother was mentally unstable,” Shahzad Gulfam told Arab News. 

“He accidentally crossed over to India from Sialkot in 2001. He was reported missing as we never knew he was in India. For us, it was a shock when we saw his picture on TV channels.”

The Pakistani government lodged a strong protest with India over the incident and demanded extra security be provided to Pakistanis in Indian jails.

“It is heart-wrenching that we could not see our brother for so many years and just came to know that he was murdered in an Indian jail. They should give us his body at least so we can see his face one last time,” Shakirullah’s sister-in-law Robina Shahzad told Arab News.

“These are very sad moments in our lives. My brother is dead now but I am satisfied that we would bury him in our ancestral graveyard. We had sleepless nights thinking about our mentally challenged brother,” Gulfam added.

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