Sarabjit Singh, the Indian national convicted of terrorism and spying by a Pakistani court. He was convicted by the Supreme Court of Pakistan for a series of bomb attacks in Lahore and Faisalabad that killed 14 innocents in 1990.
He was a farmer living in Bhikhiwind, Punjab. He belonged to a very poor family so much so that he agreed to drive a tractor in order to plough an another farmer's field. His village is located very much near the Indo-Pak border. It was in 1990 when he decided to work in a nearby field very close to the LOC in order to support his family. The men were issued ID cards and often came to work around 9 a.m.
There is a thin strip of land between the two countries called "The No Man's Land". Many have been been held in Indian and Pakistani jails for this minor offence of taking that wrong step. Sarabjit Singh's sister Dalbir Kaur, said that he had been missing for about one year and she had no clue as to where he was.
Further, He claims that he was convicted for something he never did. As he told his name was changed to Manjeet Singh, one of the actual accused in the 1990 blasts in Pakistan. Once detained by the Pakistani Rangers he managed to throw a piece of paper that was found by a man later, who sent it to his home in Punjab. This was the first time when Dalbir Kaur came to know about her brother's detention by the Pakistani authorities.
The Irrational View.
Can we actually rule out the possibility that Sarbjit Singh was not an official of the Research and Analysis wing? I would say we shouldn't. You may take me as a person not sensitive towards a poor man who suffered a lot in a number of Pakistani jails. But hold that thought. Please?
When Sarabjit was caught by the Pakistani Rangers his location at the time of arrest was Faisalabad as per the First Information Report. Yes, we do not have a reason to rule out that this fact was fabricated by the Pakistani authorities. But the very first FIR that was presented before the Magistrate states that he was indeed arrested in Faisalabad itself. Is there a possibility that things were planned so swiftly? Just within 24 hours of arrest?
After receiving Sarabjit's information, of him facing trial in a blast case how could the 'poor' sister of a simple farmer raise the much needed five lac rupees as fees for one of the best defense attorneys in Pakistan when on one hand they were portrayed to be very poor. Can we rule out the possibility that the Indian Government actually gave her(Dalbir) that amount so as to get their agent back?
Now let's recall the story of Surjeet Singh(picture above). His story was similar to Sarabjit's with a different ending. After pleading that he was a simple farmer and not an Indian spy, he came back to India after spending 30 years in Pakistan. Minutes after he stepped on to the Indian soil he disclosed to the Indian media that he was functioning in Pakistan as a RAW agent. Was Sarabjit too waiting for such an opportunity? We can't rule that out either.
Another person who came to a similar end wasRavinder Kaushik. A brilliant actor who was recruited by the RAW as early as at the age of 23 to be sent as a spy to Pakistan. He was caught much like Sarabjit. But probably he wasn't trained enough as him. For an actor the torture seemed to be unbearable and he admitted that he was an Indian spy. However he died due to Tuberculosis and Asthma much because of the poor conditions he was kept in.
When Sarabjit's body was sent to India, was there any reason to give him the guard of honor? Too many civilians have been rotting in the jails of Pakistan- some of them since 1971. Are they all going to receive the state honor? This further strengthens my feeling that under the cover of Sarabjit being honored for the sufferings, the state is giving him only what he truly deserved.
Then how can we rule the probability that unlike Ravinder's case where the Indian government did accept that her was an Indian spy, the present governments(that last 20 years) did not want to do so. It can be owed to the much time they devoted to defending the scams they were 'dragged' into in the parliament rather than addressing issues that really mattered. Well, Sarabjit seems to be a very small issue considering that China occupied of Indian territory and the government did not even raise the issue once in the parliament. Too busy. Weren't they?
Well, the RAW has almost lost its prominence and in fact the government(when free) is now more dependent on the Intelligent Bureau(I.B) for similar operations within the country and abroad. Officials would say that the mandate of the I.B expanded over time.
Calling it an extension of mandate is just a cover. Any person in future who would have been caught abroad and was associated with the RAW, would have received the title of being a 'spy' irrespective of what he or she had been assigned to do for the simple reason that the world recognizes the RAW as the undercover spying unit of India. When a person associated with the I.B, if caught would go through a trial where the burden of proof would be on the state to prove in the court of law that the I.B official was indeed spying- an act of aggression against the state.
Sarabjit should not have left the way he did. The guard of honor was as if the state 'gave' him something after being asked for by Dalbir Kaur. Probably he deserved it.
P.S. Zardari wanted to release him but there is too much opposition. So, killing him is the best way to satisfy all. Blame other prisoners, who are convicts anyway and not many questions will be raised. Killing him any other way may be inconvenient as it is difficult to avoid questions on medical reports.
May this innocent man or Martyr rest in peace.