Rajnish Sharma, Asian Age Correspondent
New Delhi, 3 May 2013. Hours after Sarabjit died in mysterious circumstances, a full-blown political slugfest erupted in New Delhi, with the Opposition, including the BJP and the Akali Dal, leaving no stone unturned to embarrass the government.
Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi was quick to criticise the government for “failing Sarabjit”. He said: “The Indian government had all the time to mobilise the world … it left the matter to Sarabjit’s family themselves to handle.”
At a Mangalore election rally, Mr Modi said Sarabjit’s death was a clear case of “extra-judicial killing”. Realising the issue could snowball into a huge political controversy, the government swung into damage control mode, with home minister Sushilkumar Shinde meeting Sarabjit’s family members early Thursday.
The MHA arranged for a helicopter to fly the family from Delhi to their native village Bhikiwind.
This was followed by an emotionally-charged meeting of family members with Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who promised all possible help to them. Rahul Gandhi hugged Sarabjit’s sister Dalbir Kaur while offering his condolences.