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Royal pardon only hope for jailed Indian in Saudi Arabia

A pardon from the king of Saudi Arabia is the only hope for the jailed Indian whose one eye may be gouged out.

india Updated: Dec 07, 2005 15:18 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

A pardon from the king of Saudi Arabia is the only hope for the jailed Indian whose one eye may be gouged out for partially blinding a man in a brawl in 2003.

Kerala Chief Minister Oomen Chandy has asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take up the case of 34-year-old Abdul Lateef Naushad with King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud, who will be the chief guest at the Republic Day function.

Naushad, from Kerala, had got into a tiff with a Saudi national, who lost sight in one eye a few weeks later. According to the Saudi Arabian law, one of Naushad's eyes would be gouged out for "justice".

"I have already written to the prime minister and when he returns from Russia, I would speak to him personally to take up the case with the Saudi King," Chandy told reporters here Wednesday.

The chief minister said what happened was not intentional and expected that the king would pardon Naushad.

"Even though normally countries do not interfere with judgments in other countries, this is certainly a special case and therefore I am hopeful," Chandy said.

Naushad's wife Sulekha, 30, who is bringing up a five-year-old son and a three-year-old daughter in most difficult circumstances with her husband in jail for over two years, has threatened to commit suicide with the children if her husband looses his eye.

Sulekha also looks after the parents of Naushad, the family's sole breadwinner.

After Naushad was jailed in Dammam in April 2003, the family has been surviving on the money sent by Naushad's friends.

A similar punishment was handed out to an Egyptian in Saudi Arabia who threw acid into the eyes of a Saudi national.

Hanifa, a former colleague of Naushad, has said a favourable settlement appeared remote as the Saudi man was adamant. He has turned down offers from Naushad's sponsor and lawyers for a compensation instead for an eye-for-an-eye.

The Dammam court has referred Naushad's case to the Supreme Court of the country.

First Published: Dec 07, 2005 15:18 IST