Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said that the Indian consulate officials had visited the 17 Indian men sentenced to death by a court in Sharjah, the United Arab Emirates, and offered to help them with legal formalities involved in appealing against their sentences.
In a communication to Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, the prime minister said he had also instructed the external affairs minister and the overseas Indian affairs minister to take all possible steps in the matter to ensure a positive outcome.
Punjab government officials said here Tuesday that the prime minister's letter came in response to Badal's request for his intervention in saving the lives of 17 Indian men sentenced to death by a court in Sharjah last week for the murder of a Pakistani national.
At least 16 of these young men are from Punjab.
Badal in his letter to the prime minister pointed out that 17 Indians had been convicted and sentenced to death for a single Pakistani's murder. Badal said that the Indian government should ensure that there was no "miscarriage of justice".
Families of 16 men sentenced to death, most of who are from poor rural backgrounds in Punjab, have been seeking help from the government. Muslim and Sikh religious leaders and organisations have also appealed to the UAE government to get the 17 Indians saved from the gallows.