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Sarabjit's sister says she is ready for a do-or-die battle

Source: PTI
March 05, 2008 23:10 IST
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Dalbir Kaur, the sister of Indian death row prisoner Sarabjit Singh whose mercy plea was turned down on Wednesday by Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, says she is ready to "fight till my last breath" to secure his freedom.

The woman who made a suicide bid in August last year after her countrywide campaign for her brother's release fell through, has also stepped up the efforts and tried to contact Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi in this regard.

"I tried to talk with the Prime Minister and an official at his residence who attended my phone call assured me that he would Dr Singh. Officials at Sonia's residence also gave me a similar assurance," she said.

Sarabjit inadvertently crossed the border in Khemkaran Sector while in an inebriated state and was arrested by the Pakistani Ranger border guards on August 25, 1990.

The former Indian soldier was sentenced to death by the Lahore High Court in 2003 for alleged involvement in four bomb blasts in Lahore and Multan that killed 14 people and has been in Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore ever since.

"I will fight till my last breath to save my brother's life," Dalbir said.

She is also banking on help from Pakistan caretaker Human Rights Minister Ansar Burney and refuses to believe that Sarabjit's mercy petition has been rejected.

She claims to have contacted Burney, Sarabjit's lawyer Rana Abdul Hameed as well as several journalists in Pakistan, "but none of them confirmed the rejection of the mercy petition", Dalbir said.

Besides Sarabjit's wife, their daughters Swapandeep and Poonam have approached the government and the president several times in the past three years in efforts to secure the condemned prisoner's release.

Sarabjit was granted Consular access last year following which Indian High Commission officials met him in a high security prison in Lahore district.

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