Ravi Krishnan Khajuria, Tribune News Service
Jammu, May 3. A day after Indian convict Sarabjit Singh died after a brutal attack by fellow inmates in a Lahore prison, a convicted Pakistani national lodged in a jail on the outskirts of Jammu was critically injured in an attack by a fellow prisoner on Friday morning. Sanaullah Ranjay slipped into coma and was airlifted to Chandigarh for treatment at the PGI. The state government has suspended the jail superintendent and warden.
The 54-year-old Pakistani prisoner, serving life term in the “high-security” Kot Bhalwal Jail for his involvement in terror related activities, was allegedly attacked by Vinod Kumar, a court-martialed soldier from Uttarakhand, who is also serving a life term.
Sources said the two were smoking in the prison lawns around 8.10 am when an altercation took place following which Vinod Kumar allegedly attacked Sanaullah with a gardening tool on the head and in the neck, sources said.
Jail authorities were tight-lipped on whether the attack was the outcome of an altercation or in retaliation to the brutal killings of Indian prisoners Sarabjit Singh and Chamel Singh in a Lahore prison. Sanaullah, a resident of Dalowali village of Sialkot in Pakistan, was involved in at least five cases – including two terror-related cases – for which he had been awarded four years imprisonment and life imprisonment,
respectively. He crossed over to India illegally with the help of another accused, Kehar, who died during trial. He has been in prison since 1999. Vinod was convicted and imprisoned under murder charges.
A doctor attending to Sanaullah at Jammu’s Government Medical College and Hospital described his condition as “very critical”. “He has sustained deep head and neck injuries that caused excessive bleeding. He remains unconscious. His Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) is low and out of 15 parameters only five are normal,” she said. The GCS is used to measure level of consciousness, especially after a head injury.
Scoring is done on the basis of three factors: amount of eye opening, verbal responsiveness, and motor responsiveness.
Chief Secretary Mohammed Iqbal Khanday confirmed Sanaullah was taken for specialised treatment to PGI, Chandigarh, in an air ambulance around 4.50 pm.
The state government has ordered an inquiry and suspended Kot Bhalwal jail superintendent Rajni Sehgal and the warden pending probe. “I will probe the incident and go into the circumstances that led to it. Jail superintendent Rajni Sehgal and the warden have been suspended, pending probe,” State Home Secretary Suresh Kumar said.