The condition of injured Pakistani prisoner Sanaullah Ranjay is “extremely critical” and far worse than last night, a medical bulletin issued by the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER).

A resident of Sialkot in Pakistan, 52-year-old Sanaullah Ranjay is serving a life term after he was convicted under TADA provisions following his arrest in 1999. Relatives of a Pakistani prisoner savagely attacked in an Indian jail travelled to India to visit the inmate who remains critically ill in a “deep coma” in hospital.

Sanaullah Ranjay suffered massive head injuries in a prison in the northern city of Jammu in an apparent tit-for-tat attack after an Indian prisoner, Sarabjit Singh, was assaulted in Pakistan. Ranjay’s brother-in-law and nephew, in India on a 15-day visa, were met by officials of the Pakistani High Commission (embassy) at Wagah, the land crossing between the two countries.

Ranjay, from the Pakistani city of Sialkot, was attacked by a prisoner identified as a former Indian army soldier just 24 hours after Singh’s death in a Lahore jail. Singh, convicted in Pakistan for spying and a string of deadly blasts, died last week and was cremated with state honours in his native village in northwestern India where hundreds of protesters shouted “Down with Pakistan!”

Last weekend demonstrators took to the streets in Pakistan-administered Kashmir to protest against the attack on Ranjay in India. The prison violence could fuel tensions between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan, whose relations were hit by a border flare-up earlier this year.

New Delhi says 535 Indian prisoners, including 483 fishermen, are in Pakistani jails, while 272 Pakistani prisoners are behind bars in India.

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