Muslims in Bihar offer prayers for Sarabjit’s release

March 18th, 2008 - 10:36 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Pratibha Patil

Patna, March 18 (IANS) A group of Muslims offered prayers at a Sufi saint’s tomb in the Bihar capital for the release of Sarabjit Singh, an Indian prisoner who is slated to be hanged in Pakistan April 1. Before offering prayers at the Sufi saint’s tomb near the Patna High Court building, the group took out a protest march against the decision of the Pakistan government to hang him.

“We offered prayers, flowers and a chadar at the saint’s tomb for safe return of Sarabjit Singh to India,” Tasneem Jamal, who led a group of Muslims to offer prayers at the tomb of Sufi saint Hazrat Saheed Ghulam Safdar Pir Murad, told IANS Tuesday.

Tasneem Jamal, who is general secretary of Sai Biradri that represents Dalit Muslims, said that they took out the protest march here to show their solidarity with him. “By protesting and offering prayers, we sent a message to Pakistan to free Sarabjit Singh, who is innocent,” she said.

The Indian Muslim Development Foundation (IMDF), a Bihar-based organisation, has urged President Pratibha Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi to immediately initiate efforts for his release.

“The Indian government should intervene for Sarabjit’s release from Pakistan jail,” said IMDF director M.I. Khan.

Sarabjit, who Pakistan claims is actually Manjit Singh, was sentenced to death for his alleged involvement in the bomb blasts in Lahore and Multan that killed 14 people in 1991.

His sister Dalbir Kaur met Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi to seek support for her brother’s release.

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf rejected his mercy plea close on the heels of the release of Kashmir Singh, another death row prisoner. Pakistan’s Supreme Court also rejected his mercy petition in March 2006.

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