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Kin, locals take out candlelight vigil for release of Pak-held Indian prisoner Sarabjit

July 1, 2012 - Amritsar

Residents of Amritsar and relatives of Indian prisoner Sarabjit took out a candlelight vigilhere on Saturday night to urge the Pakistan Government to release him soon.

Talking to reporters, Sarabji's teary-eyed daughter Swapandeep Kaur pleaded with Islamabad to release her father who has been lodged in a Pakistan jail for the past 22 years, and is on death row on charges of spying and for allgedly being involved in a bomb explosion incident that killed 14 people.

"Candle march is a mark of peace, so we are holding a candle march again. The aim is to send our message to the Indian and the Pakistani community that Indian and Pakistan government did so much for the release of Surjeet Singh, so from last 21 years we have also been trying for my father. We have submitted all the documents to the Pakistan and Indian government, so I would appeal and request them to take steps for the release of my father," said Swapandeep Kaur.

Sarabjit's family maintains that he is innocent and is a case of mistaken identity. They do admit that he had crossed the border in 1990-91 and stepped on Pakistan soil accidentally in an inebriated state.

Sarabjit's wife Sukhpreet Kaur said that the news from Pakistan that he was to be released was greeted with joy initially, but this feeling turned to a sudden shock when authorities in Islamabad did a U-turn, and said that Surjeet Singh, not Sarabjit Singh would be released.

"I would like to appeal to both the countries that the way Surjeet Singh was released, similarly my husband should also be released. We are very disheartened as after the order of my husband's release, we celebrated and distributed sweets but suddenly the decision was changed. Such a joke should not be done with anybody. I would like to say to the Pakistan government and Punjab government that such a joke should not be played with us, if they really want to give us happiness, then give it for once. Sometimes we are given good news and the other moment we are given a sad news," said Sukhpreet Kaur.

Sarabjit Singh is confined to the cell of condemned prisoners at Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore.


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