Sarabjit’s story could have been a Shakespearean tragedy. But, it is not. It’s the story of a man who left home one night, only to come back 23 years later, dead.
Sad, yet, this true story has made many Indians either cry in rage or lash out in rage. Sarabjit’s story could have been an ordinary case mistaken identity. He could have died in the prison without anyone knowing about it. His name could have erased from the book forever. No one would have known about the life lost without any reason.
But, Sarabjiit Singh became a household name. Sarabjit’s ending left many fuming for justice. And these all were possible due to the 23 year battle of one woman, Sarabjit’s sister Dalbir.
The story has inspired the Bollywood film makers to create a full length movie which is set to be released shortly. Bollywood heart throb Randeep Hooda plays the character of Sarabjit in this movie and Aishwarya Rai plays the character of Dalbir.
Sarabjit Singh – Real Story
Sarabjit was a native of Punjab. He had been accused by the Pakistani police of being Manjit Singh. Sarabjit had been charged for terrorism and spying. Pakistani police force had arrested him and after a hasty trial found him guilty. Supreme Court of Pakistan charged him for the 1990 bomb attack in Lahore and Faisalabad. In this attack, 14 people had died.
Sarabjit was farmer. He was guilty of crossing the border one night without even being aware of it. The timing of crossing the border was wrong. The entry into Pakistan took place just three months after the bomb attack when the Pakistani police force was looking desperately for the bomber.
Pakistani police tagged him as a RAW agent. They also claimed that Sarabjit entered the country to work undercover for India. Pakistani High Court handled his case. Later the Supreme Court took over.
Sarabjit was found guilty of terrorism in 1991. He received death sentence for his crime. The conviction of Sarabjit occurred due to public pressure which was mounting with time. Pakistani police needed someone to blame for the bombing. Sarabjit just happened to be present at the wrong time. He later testified to bombings on camera. Later, the ‘real Manjit Singh’ was apprehended in Canada and brought back to India.
While in prison in April 2013, he was attacked by his inmates who charged at him and hit him with iron rods. bricks and blades. As a result, he was rushed in a serious condition to the hospital with a broken backbone and hugely impaired brain. The brutal attack proved to be fatal. Six days after the attack, on May 2, 2013, Sarabjit Singh died in Jinnah Hospital.
Sarabjit Singh – Family Background
Sarabjit was born in the year 1963. He was born in Bhikhiwind, a small town which is located near India Pakistan border. Sarabjit had a wife called Sukhpreet Kaur. They also had two daughters. Sarabjit’s sister Dalbir Kaur fought for her brother’s release.
The relation between Sarabjit and Dalbir was questioned by Baljinder Kaur. According her claim, Dalbir was not Sarabjit’s sister. Baljinder Kaur claimed to be Sarabjit’s real sister. As per the claim goes, Dalbir assured Sarabjit’s family that she had connection in the high places. She promised to bring Sarabjit back home. The family trusted her. However, later she pushed the family out of the picture.
In her defense, Dalbir said nothing. According to her she had nothing to prove to the people. Later she claimed that Sarabjit’s brothers did not have the right to light his pyre. She said that no one stood by her when she was trying to release her brother.
Sarabjit Singh’s sister – Dalbir (real photo)
Pakistani rangers arrested Sarabjit when he crossed the border. They found him in Kesur. Sarabjit was drunk at the time of arrest. He could not provide his identification as he did not have any documents with him. It was a case of mistaken identity.
He disappeared for nine months. His family did not find any news of him. A year later, a letter arrived from Pakistan bearing the news of his arrest and trial. He was charged with illegal trespassing initially. However, eight days later, he had been charged with terrorism.
The police force insisted that he was Manjit Singh an agent who caused the bombing and deaths in Pakistan. There were many issues related to Sarabjit’s trial. The initial reports don’t have the mention of his name anywhere. The court did not verify his identity either. To make the matter worse, the trial was held in English, a language Sarabjit did not understand.
Sarabjit Singh – Wife and Daughters
Sarabjit Singh’s wife – Sukhpreet
Sarabjit Singh’s daughters and family
Sukhpreet Kaur and daughters Swapandeep and Poonam tried their level best to save their family member. In fact, Sukhpreet supported Dalbir in every possible manner to secure the release of her husband. In the year 2012, it was reported that Sarabjit was about to be released. The whole village of Bhikhiwind was treated to sweets by Sukhpreet, there was celebrations and dancing all around. But in a few hours, it was declared that it was not Sarabjit but Surjeet who was released. Sukhpreet couldn’t believe that the Pakistani’s highest law-bearing officers could be so irresponsible. Nevertheless, she continued the fight with Dalbir to secure the release of her husband.
Efforts to release Sarabjit Singh
Sarabit’s story attracted attention nationwide. Several release movement had been arranged. Actor Raza Murad had played a vital role in his release movement. According to the latest news release Salman Khan had extended his support towards the family. He also tried to release Sarabjit. His effort to free Sarabjit will not be featured in the movie.
Sarabjit’s sister Dalbir Kaur fought 23 years to bring her brother home. She knocked every door and left nothing unturned. She even crossed the border and talked to the Pakistani authority to free her brother. Her long battle paid off. Sarabjit came home. Only she failed to bring her brother back home alive.