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Pardoned Naushad returns to India

Exempted from the punishment which could have cost him an eye, Naushad returned home gleefully.

india Updated: Apr 06, 2006 16:08 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

It was an emotional homecoming for Naushad, who returned from Saudi Arabia Thursday morning, after being pardoned of a crime that could have cost him one of his eyes. Saudi authorities released him from the jail this week and put him on a flight to Mumbai.

Emerging from the airport on his arrival, Naushad, 34, was greeted by his family as well as a number of political leaders including Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.

There were emotional scenes at the airport as Naushad's aged mother, wife and two children rushed towards him, even as onlookers too found themselves overcome with emotions.

Naushad's three-year-old daughter seemed to be the most elated as she kissed her father whom she was seeing for the first time.

Breaking down in tears, Naushad couldn't speak much. All he could say was: "I am really thankful to the media and all those people in power who helped me to come out of the jail. I don't know what else to say. Thank you all."

Chandy told reporters that his government would help Naushad in resettling. "It is for him to decide what he needs and my government would do everything possible for his rehabilitation," said Chandy.

Naushad said that he had not yet decided on his future plans. "I have no problem, if I want I can go back again, but first let me spend some time with my family," he said.

He was putting behind a harrowing experience that had started in April 2003 in Saudi Arabia after he got into a tiff with a Saudi national over the price of a battery charger.

A verbal duel between the two led to fisticuffs in which the Saudi national's one eye was bruised by the battery charger. He later lost his eye sight.

Naushad was sent to a jail in Dammam, awaiting a severe punishment: according to the Saudi Arabian law, one of Naushad's eyes could be gouged out for justice.

Following media reports of Naushad's plight, however, things brightened up. The Indian government took up the issue with the Saudi government.

When the Saudi Arabian king, Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud, visited India as the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations early this year, it was announced that Naushad would be pardoned.

First Published: Apr 06, 2006 16:08 IST