[@iamgetag: Photo: Getty Images]
Dismayed that Pakistan was not releasing Sarabjit Singh, his family on Wednesday said it was a "cruel joke" on them but vowed not to give up efforts to secure his release.
A pall of gloom descended on Sarabjit's native Bikhiwind village in Punjab where hundreds of villagers had gathered Tuesday night to celebrate the news of commutation of his death sentence. However, with Pakistan clarifying that the Indian prisoner being released is Faridkot native Surjeet Singh and not Sarabjit Singh, a wave of sorrow prevailed in the village.
Sarabjit, 49, who is being held at Kot Lakhpat Jail in Pakistan, was sentenced to death for alleged involvement in a string of blasts in Punjab province in 1990. With tears in her eyes, Sarabjit's sister Dalbir Kaur said, "It is difficult for us to believe the Sarabjit Singh has not been released. How can I accept that my brother would not come home yet."
"The latest news wherein I was informed that my brother is not released is a cruel joke with the family whose sentiments have been badly hurt," Dalbir, who has made many attempts to release her brother in the past, said.
However, Dalbir said she would not give up her struggle. "I would never stop my struggle to get my brother released. I would again visit Pakistan to seek appointment with President Asif Ali Zardari to do the needful for the release of my brother since he is innocent".
Kaur says she would meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi and ask them to to take up the matter with Pakistan Government. "The Pakistan President is a humble and noble personality and would definitely take up the mater to commute the death sentence of my innocent brother who is languishing in jail for more than 22 years," she said.
Sukhpreet Kaur, wife of Sarabjit Singh said, "My husband must be released as the family has already suffered a lot and is now not in a position to suffer more". Sarabjit Singh's daughter Poonam said, "If Pakistan had mistakenly announced that her father was being released, it should commit one more mistake and announce the release of her father".
She says that she is happy that Surjeet Singh is being released but her father should also be released along with him. Surjeet has been in Pakistani captivity for over 30 years. He was captured near the border with India on charges of spying during the era of military ruler Zia-ul-Haq.
Ridiculing West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's visit to Kamduni village, the opposition Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) on Tuesday said she was now "scared" to enter a village in the state.
A sex racket was busted in Delhi after two Uzbek women who were held hostage for five months in a house and were repeatedly sexually abused by customers, escaped, police on Tuesday said.
The Supreme Court today agreed to give an urgent hearing to a PIL on the issue of US National Security Agency snooping on Internet data from India
The Republican-controlled US House of Representatives has approved a legislation to ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Senior IPS officer Sadanand Date, who was injured in the gun battle with Pakistani terrorists Ajmal Kasab and Abu Ismail during the 26/11 attacks, has approached a local court seeking getting back his uniform.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday directed all central government agencies to assist in rescue and relief operations in flood-affected Uttarakhand and assured Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna of all help, a statement said.
The latest sting operation by the online magazine exposes how some employees in two foreign banks in India have also been involved in accepting black money and agreeing to launder it.