Friday, May 3, 2013

Burney demanded money, says Sarabjit’s sister

CHANDIGARH, May 3, 2013

Dalbir Kaur, sister of Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh who died in Pakistan, has accused Pakistani human rights activist and former Minister, Ansar Burney, of demanding Rs 25 crore for his release.

Before proceeding to her native village, Bhikhiwind, where her brother is to be cremated on Friday, Ms. Kaur told reporters in Amritsar that Mr. Burney brought down the demand to Rs 2 crore when she told him the family did not have that kind of resource at its command. Mr. Burney, she claimed, assured her that Sarabjit would be released the same evening if she gave him the money.

An emotional Ms. Kaur said had she been in a position to pay Rs. 25 crore, her brother would have been a free man. She alleged that Sarabjit Singh was sacrificed to ensure Asif Ali Zardari's victory in Pakistan's elections. India must give Pakistan a "befitting" reply for its betrayal.

I am hurt, says Burney

Mr. Burney was quoted on various social media portals expressing shock at Ms. Kaur's allegations. He accused her of attempting to politicise a matter that, to him, was one of defending human rights. He was among the first to demand an investigation into the attack, as he felt bricks could not have been brought in where Sarabjit was being lodged after being convicted. Mr. Burney said he was pained and hurt at the "false and slanderous" allegation, especially because he had only tried to help Sarabjit get justice and assist his family in its struggle.
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