Family members of Sarabjit Singh hold his picture to appeal for his release during a demonstration in Amritsar June 25, 2009.
Family members of Sarabjit Singh hold his picture to appeal for his release during a demonstration in Amritsar June 25, 2009. REUTERS

Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh's health has deteriorated further after sustaining grievous from a brutal assault by fellow inmates in Pakistan's Kot Lakhpat Jail last week.

Allama Iqbal Medical College principal Mahmood Shaukat, head of the panel treating Sarabjit at the Jinnah Hospital, confirmed that his condition is getting worse.

Earlier on Tuesday, it was reported that Sarabjit was declared brain dead by doctors. But Shaukat refuted the reports and said that the death-row convict was in extremely critical condition. It was also said that the doctors were seeking his sister's permission to withdraw ventilator support.  

"He continues to be serious but has not been declared brain dead," Shaukat told Press Trust of India. 

"In our latest investigation, there was no sign of improvement (in Sarabjit's condition). Rather, his condition further deteriorated."

Shaukat added that Sarabjit is currently being treated by top neurosurgeons and physicians. "The Glasgow Coma Scale of the patient is being monitored on a daily basis," he said.

After Sarabjit's condition was noticed, the doctors had changed some of his medications. He was also subjected to a second CT scan which showed no signs of improvement.

Earlier, Sarabjit's Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), which assesses the level of consciousness after a profound head injury, was recorded to be a low level of five.

Sarabjit continues to be kept in the intensive care unit of the hospital. Doctors had initially informed that his chances of survival were "slim".

Following a briefing on Sarabjit's condition from Jinnah Hospital's Medical Superintendent Ijaz Nisar, his sister Dalbir Kaur has appealed for him to be treated by Indian doctors.

Meanwhile, a show cause notice has been issued by the the Punjab Police to seven officials of Kot Lakhpat Jail, including Superintendent Mohsin Rafiq and Additional Superintendents Ishtiaq Ahmed Gill and Sawar Sumera, for failing to protect Sarabjit in jail.

Sarabjit was attacked on Friday by six prisoners who brutally hit him on his head, neck. He also sustained cuts from sharp objects.

Sarabjit, 49, was awarded death penalty by the Pakistan government for allegedly carrying out a string of bomb attacks that killed 14 people in the Punjab province in 1990. Sarabjit had submitted a mercy petition which was rejected by the court and former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf.

Later, the Pakistan People's Party-led government had delayed his execution for an indefinite period in 2008.

Sarabjit's family claimed that he was a target of mistaken identity and had strayed across the border unknowingly.

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