India makes fresh appeal of mercy for alleged spy

New Delhi - India makes fresh appeal of mercy for alleged spyIndia on Friday made a fresh appeal to Pakistan to show mercy to the alleged Indian spy Sarabjit Singh whose execution has reportedly been set for early May, officials and news reports said.

India's External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee hoped that clemency would be shown on humanitarian grounds to Singh who has been in a Pakistani jail since 1990.

"I would appeal to the authorities in Pakistan to show clemency," the Indian minister said in a statement to the media.

"Whatever the legal position may be, on humanitarian grounds alone, I would hope that mercy could be shown to this unfortunate human being," he said.

Indian media reported that Singh's fate was at the mercy of the Pakistan government which had recently issued a fresh execution order for early May.

Singh was sentenced to death in connection with 1990 bomb blasts in Lahore and Faislabad that killed 14 people and injured many others.

Pakistan's Supreme Court upheld his 1991 death sentence earlier in 2006 and he was scheduled to be executed on April 1 this year.

The hanging was, however, put off until April 30 after India made an appeal to Pakistan government.

The fresh appeal was made as Indian authorities established contact with the new coalition government in Pakistan and were hopeful that clemency will be given to him, the PTI news agency reported.

Singh has denied the allegations of being a spy, saying he is from a poor family who mistakenly crossed the border.

Singh's family has been insisting that Singh's case was that of mistaken identity and hence should be granted clemency. Public opinion in India has been strongly in favour of clemency for Singh.(dpa)

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