Pakistani prisoner found hanging in Indian Kashmir jail

SRINAGAR, India (AFP) - A Pakistani prisoner who was arrested by authorities in India for trespassing more than two years ago has been found hanging inside a jail in Indian Kashmir, an official said Saturday.

Showkat Ali, 42, a resident of Sialkot in Pakistan, had been lodged in a jail in Amphala, about 300 kilometres from the region's main city of Srinagar, since December 2011.

He was arrested on charges of illegally crossing the de facto border between the two rival countries.

"An inmate informed the jail authorities last (Friday) night that Showkat was hanging from the grill of a toilet in the barracks," jail superintendent Harish Kotwal told AFP.

"He was hanging by a scarf and after he was brought down, the jail doctor declared him dead," Mr Kotwal said.

The incident will be investigated by a magistrate and formalities for handing over his body to Pakistani authorities have begun, another police officer said.

Last May, a Pakistani prisoner died of his injuries after he was savagely beaten by fellow convicts in another jail in Indian Kashmir, leading to calls for an international probe into his death.

His death followed a similar assault on Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh in Lahore's Kot Lakhpat jail. A high profile convict, Singh had been on the death row for more than 21 years.

India and Pakistan frequently arrest rival citizens for trespassing and many of them languish in jail for years even after serving their term as poor diplomatic ties mean fulfilling official requirements can take a long time.