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Hanging commuted, Sarabjit's family celebrates
Onkar Singh in New Delhi | May 03, 2008 00:59 IST
Last Updated: May 04, 2008 00:09 IST
The family of Sarabjit Singh, Indian prisoner on death row in Pakistan, erupted with joy on Saturday as news of the Pakistan government commuting his hanging reached them.
Sarabjit, whose family says that he is the victim of mistaken identity, was to be hanged on April 1, after being convicted of involvement in 1990 blasts that killed four people in Lahore [Images].
But President Pervez Musharraf [Images], who had earlier rejected a mercy petition, delayed the execution until April 30. The execution was further delayed by Pakistan authorities a few days before April 30, on technical grounds.
Significantly, the latest reprieve for Sarabjit, who is lodged in a Lahore prison for the last 18 years, comes days ahead of External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee's visit to Pakistan on May 21. Moves are also afoot in Pakistan to commute death sentences to life terms.
Sarabjit's elder daughter Swapandeep Kaur said, "We are very happy. We prayed in a Gurudwara for our father's early return."