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We'll make all efforts to save Naushad: PM

PM promised all help to save Naushad from having his eye gouged out for partially blinding a S Arabian national.

india Updated: Dec 10, 2005 23:09 IST

Indian government would make all possible efforts to save Abdul Lateef Naushad from the brutal punishment of an eye-for-an-eye in Saudi Arabia, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Thursday.

"I have spoken to (Minister of State for External Affairs) E Ahamed this morning and said we should do everything to save our man from the punishment," the prime minister told Kerala MP Chengara Surendran in New Delhi.

Surendran, who represents Adoor from where 34-year-old Naushad hails, gave a memorandum to the prime minister signed by all MPs from Kerala, seeking government intervention to save Naushad from having his eye gouged out for partially blinding a Saudi Arabian national in a brawl in 2002.

Claiming that Naushad was innocent, the MP said in the memorandum that the Saudi Arabian youth Nife Muthef, already had a problem in his eye when he got injured in the scuffle.

The memorandum said the allegations against Naushad were false.

"We request your good self to intervene in the matter and take immediate steps to see that such a cruel punishment is not imposed," the memorandum said.

Naushad had gone to Saudi Arabia eight years ago and was working in an electrical shop. He is the only earning member of his family. His wife Sulekha has threatened to commit suicide with her two children if her husband is punished.

He has been in jail since April 2002 after the fight. His lawyers and sponsor's efforts to save him from the punishment and settle for a monetary compensation have failed with Muthef insisting that the punishment be meted out.

Earlier,Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who took up the matter with the Centre, said aroyal pardon could be the only way to save Naushad from losing his eye.

TheSaudi Arabian King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud, is visiting India next month and will be the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations.

First Published: Dec 10, 2005 23:09 IST