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Take up Indian's death sentence with Pak: Parliament

August 22, 2005 16:40 IST

Parliament on Monday voiced concern over the death sentence awarded to an Indian national in Pakistan for his alleged involvement in bomb blasts there, saying it was a case of  mistaken identity and the government should urgently take up the matter with Islamabad.

Raising the issue in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, members said it was a case of wrong identity as Manjit Singh, the man sentenced to death, was actually Sarabjit Singh from Amritsar.

The issue was taken up by Avinash Rai Khanna of the Bharatiya Janata Party and Ratan Singh Ajnala of the Shiromani Akali Dal, who were supported by several members prompting Speaker Somnath Chatterjee to state that seeing the sentiments expressed in the House, the government should take appropriate action.

In the Rajya Sabha, the issue was raised by BJP member S S Ahluwalia who found instant support from members cutting across party lines.

He said as many as 550 Indians were languishing in Pakistani jails and demanded that efforts be made by the government to seek their release.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Suresh Pachauri said he would convey the sentiments of the members to External Affairs Minister K Natwar Singh.

Chairman Bhairon Singh Shekhawat wanted the government to inform the House about the state of Indians in Pakistani jails.

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