Indonesia executes 4 drug convicts, confusion over fate of Indian national

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jul 29, 2016 02:19 IST
Indonesian police display 60 kilograms of methamphetamine, smuggled from Cameroon and Malaysia, before a press conference in Jakarta on July 27. (AFP)

The Indonesian government on Friday said it had executed four drug traffickers, giving a reprieve of uncertain duration to 10 others it had said would also be put to death.

Deputy Attorney-General Noor Rachmad said one Indonesian and three Nigerians were executed by firing squad not long after midnight local time, reports AP.

Earlier this week, Indonesia’s attorney-general said 14 people, mostly foreigners, would be executed.

Among the foreigners was one Indian national Gurdip Singh who was found guilty of trying to smuggle 300 grams of heroin into Indonesia in 2004 and was sentenced to death by the state district court at Tanggerang in Banten province in February 2005.

However, confusion remained about the fate of Gurdip Singh till late on Thursday night as AFP also reported that 10 others expected to have faced the firing squad, including nationals from Pakistan, India and Zimbabwe as well as Indonesians, were not put to death.

Gurdip Singh’s younger sister Binder Kaur told HT that she got a call from the Indian embassy just after midnight on Thursday confirming that he was executed by a firing squad.

Singh had also rung his family on Thursday morning saying that was his last call to them.

“This is my last call to you. They are going to kill me today. Now you will be able to see my body only. Take care of both children,” were his words to wife Kulwinder Kaur, who was undergoing treatment at a local private health centre at the time of the call.

On Wednesday, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj had also tweeted that the government was trying to save Singh.

“We are making last minute efforts to save him (Singh) from execution on 28 July,” said the minister.

It is the third set of executions under President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo who was elected in 2014 and campaigned on promises to improve human rights in Indonesia.

(With inputs from agencies)

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