“Govt Did Nothing For My Brother”— Dalbir Kaur
Dalbir Kaur, sister of Sarabjit Singh, blames and holds Government of India responsible for the sorry end of her brother. In an interview to Uday India, she in spite of her great personal loss wants that no Pakistani prisoner should meet the fate of her brother in Indian jails. Excerpts:
How did Sarabjit reach Pakistan?
■ It was the black day of August 28, 1990, when my brother was separated from us. That night, he had gone to work in the field of Bhikhiwind village in Tarn Taran district. Those days, there was no fencing on the border between India and Pakistan. After finishing his work, he lost his way and strayed into Pakistan. He was arrested by Pakistani soldiers. We searched him everywhere, but failed to trace him. We even thought that he had been held captive by terrorists.
How did you then come to know about his whereabouts?
■ We received a letter, nine months after his disappearance, from Pakistan jail. We first thought that none of our relative stays in Pakistan, then how did this letter come from there? We even did not accept the letter first, however, later we took it thinking what has been written in the letter. When we opened the letter, we burst into tears. The letter was written by my brother Sarabjit from a Pakistani jail. Through that letter, we came to know that he had been held under the name of one Manjit Singh. The fact was that Manjit Singh was responsible for triggering four bomb blasts in Pakistan and the case was registered against his name. The case was filed one month before the stray of Sarabjit into Pakistani territory. But there was no one to hear Sarabjit’s plea. He had written that he was being tortured in the jail and pressurised to accept his involvement in the blasts.
What did you do to help your brother?
■ I approached every person, organisation and government, which could be helpful in the release of my brother. Right from state government to Centre, I implored everyone, but there was no result. My brother could have been returned alive, but due to the apathy of the government he is not alive today. I approached everyone- from Indian leaders to Pakistani leaders. I went to every temple, mosque and gurudwara and prayed for the return of my brother, but I could not save him.
Whom do you hold responsible for your brother’s tragic end?
■ Indian government should have tried to save my brother, but it was not done. The government had only assured us, but did nothing. I hold government responsible and guilty for Sarabjit’s tragic end.
Are you satisfied with government assistance now and what do you want to do further?
■ I lost my brother and nothing could compensate the loss. The government did nothing for my brother. I will remember the weakness of the government. I will raise Sarabjit’s death in the International Court of Justice. I shall tour the jails across the country. I am forming a trust which will assess the condition of Pakistani prisoners languishing in Indian jails. I will take stock of the situation and ensure that the Pakistani prisoners are not treated in India in the way Sarabjit was treated in Pakistan. I will try to ensure Pakistani prisoners’ release from Indian jails and will bring back Indian prisoners held in Pakistani jails.