An Indian national on death row in Pakistan who was attacked by fellow inmates armed with bricks has been put on a ventilator, officials said yesterday.
Sarbajit Singh, who was sentenced to death 16 years ago on espionage charges, was taken to hospital on Friday with multiple wounds, including a severe head injury, after an argument in Lahore's Kot Lakhpat Jail.
"Singh's condition is critical with multiple wounds on his head, abdomen, jaw and other body parts, and he has been put on ventilator," a senior doctor in Lahore's Jinnah hospital said.
Singh is in the hospital's intensive-care unit, and the next 24 hours would be critical, the doctor said, adding that the head injury was "quite severe".
"He needs surgery but the doctors are not performing it because they don't want to take any chances and want him to stabilise," he said.
Singh was hit with bricks and other blunt objects by two inmates, a police officer investigating the case said, identifying the suspects only by single names Aamir and Mudasir.
Singh's lawyer Owais Sheikh said his client had received threats after the execution of a Kashmiri separatist in India. Mohammed Afzal Guru was hanged in New Delhi on February 9 for his part in a deadly Islamist attack on the Indian Parliament in 2001.
Singh was arrested after a bombing in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore in 1990 in which 14 people were killed. He was sentenced to death after being convicted on spying charges.
His family has previously filed mercy petitions to Pakistani authorities seeking Singh's release. Pakistan maintains he was an Indian spy, but Singh's family say he is a farmer who accidentally crossed the border into Pakistan while drunk.