Family pardons son?s killer | india | Hindustan Times
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Family pardons son?s killer

IN THE ultimate act of forgiveness, a family in Kerala has pardoned their son's assassin ? a Pakistani citizen on death row in the UAE. P.T. Murrath (21), a hotel employee in Al Ain, was murdered in a robbery-gone-awry on July 30, 1980. Two assailants, identified as Akthar Hussain (45) and Mustaq Sardar Khan (17), barged into the hotel to rob the inmates. Murrath bravely resisted them and was stabbed several times.

india Updated: Feb 11, 2006 01:35 IST

IN THE ultimate act of forgiveness, a family in Kerala has pardoned their son's assassin — a Pakistani citizen on death row in the UAE.

P.T. Murrath (21), a hotel employee in Al Ain, was murdered in a robbery-gone-awry on July 30, 1980. Two assailants, identified as Akthar Hussain (45) and Mustaq Sardar Khan (17), barged into the hotel to rob the inmates. Murrath bravely resisted them and was stabbed several times.

A court awarded Akthar the death sentence but his co-accused Mustaq escaped the noose because he was a minor at the time. However, his palms were chopped off as punishment and he was deported to Pakistan. Since Murrath's family members couldn't be traced - according to Shariat, only the King or the victim's family can pardon an offender - Akthar's sentence was inordinately delayed. He is now 70-years-old and has been in jail for more than 25 years.

"After obtaining an heir certificate from the tehsildar, we - all fourteen family members - signed the pardon and submitted it to the UAE embassy the other day. We heard Akthar would be freed in a couple of days," Murrath's elder brother P.T. Khaleed, a schoolteacher, told HT.

Murrath's family came to know of Akthar only recently. They were under the impression that he had been executed long back. "Recently, a Malayalee who belongs to our native place spent a few days in the same jail where Akthar was lodged. It was through him that we heard about Akthar," Khaleed said.

Pardoning Akthar wasn't an easy thing to do and initially, some of the family members weren't ready. But they changed their minds after reading about Naushad, a Malayalee youth who was spared an eye-for-an-eye sentence after his Saudi victim forgave him. "After reading about the plight of Naushad's family, we thought about it," said Khaleed, adding that he would be happy if Akthar's family took him back.