Naushad released from Saudi jail
Naushad, who hails from Kerala, was to suffer capital punishment, but was freed after the victim pardoned him for injury.Updated: Apr 05, 2006 22:44 IST
Abdul Latheef Naushad, a Keralite who was slapped with an eye-for-an-eye punishment for damaging an eye of a Saudi national, was on Wednesday freed after a three-year prison term and is being sent back to India.
Saudi Arabia's decision to release him was conveyed by Culture and Information Minister Iyad bin Amin Madani to Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahamed who is in Chicago.
Naushad will be flying back late on Wednesday night, official sources said.
Naushad had damaged the eye of the Saudi national during a scuffle at a petrol pump where he was employed following which a Sharia' court ruled that his eye be gouged as punishment.
The Saudi national pardoned Naushad a few months back after the Keralite's wife and mother had petitioned the Saudi King.
The lone breadwinner of a poor family at Anchal in Kollam district, Naushad was working at a petrol pump at Dammam when his life took an unfortunate turn three years back.
Naushad's plight and the harrowing wait of his family, comprising his mother, wife and two kids was brought to light by the media last year.
Hopes of Naushad's release brightened during the visit of Saudi King Abdullah to Delhi as chief guest for the Republic Day celebrations this year.
The Indian Government then took up the case with the Saudi King who offered to make use of his good offices to spare Naushad the punishment.
Ahamed had also raised the issue with Saudi ministers during his recent visit to Khartoum for the Arab League summit.
First Published: Apr 05, 2006 17:09 IST