On death row in Indonesia: Hopes of Gurdip’s kin rest on Sushma
Family says have moved clemency petition through Indian embassypunjab Updated: Jul 30, 2016 23:31 IST
With politicians making a beeline for the house of Gurdip Singh, who is facing death sentence in Indonesia, at Khehra Mohalla in Nakodar town, his family is waiting for an appointment with external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj in a last-ditch attempt to bring Gurdip back home alive.
The family said they have also moved a clemency petition to the Indonesian authorities through the Indian embassy.
Since Friday morning, Gurdip’s wife Kulwinder Kaur (41) and his nephew Gurpal Singh (19) have called Swaraj’s personal assistant (PA) many times, requesting him to fix a meeting with the minister, but to no avail.
Kaur said Sushma is their last hope as she can take up the matter with the Indonesian authorities and make efforts to ensure a safe return of Gurdip.
“She (Sushma) phoned me on Thursday evening and made effort to save him (Gurdip) from the firing squad and it worked,” Kulwinder said. Gurpal claimed that he called the minister’s PA thrice and was given assurance by him. “Uncle (Gurdip) called me in the evening and informed that he has been shifted to another cell. He asked us to approach the minister immediately to save his life,” said Gurpal.
Local leaders of various parties visited the family and assured to take up the matter with the Union minister. A delegation of district BJP also met the family and asked them to talk to state BJP president Vijay Sampla to get an early appointment with Swaraj.
Gurpal said local MLA and chief parliamentary secretary (CPS) Gurpartap Singh Wadala was to visit their house, but did not arrive. A call was also received from the office of Congress leader and former Nakodar MLA Amarjeet Singh Samra.
He said they (politicians) were visiting them now just for the sake of politics and nobody was there when Indonesia police were going to shoot his uncle.
Gurdip was among 14 people who were taken out of their cells to face the firing squad on Thursday night (India time). Four had been shot dead before a storm forced the executioners to take the death row convicts back to their cells, according to reports from Indonesia.
Singh was awarded capital punishment by a court in Banten province in February 2005. His appeals were turned down by the Banten high court and the Indonesian Supreme Court.
Gurdip has second wife, 2 daughters in Indonesia
It has also emerged through a letter Gurdip wrote to his family through the Indian embassy on Thursday that he had a second marriage in Indonesia. His second wife, Marwati, visited India with her two daughters in 2012 but had introduced herself as Gurdip’s friend, the family said.
Earlier, Gurdip had told his family that Marwati took care of his uncle there, a family member said.