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No blood money? Stay in jail
August 20, 2005 14:20 IST
Five Indians are languishing in Saudi Arabian jails because they were unable to pay blood money to relatives of the victims of traffic accidents in which they were allegedly involved.
According to the Indian Embassy in Riyadh, the five workers are required to pay blood money ranging from SR100,000 (Rs 11.63 lakh) to SR450,000 (Rs 52.35 lakh) to the relatives of the victims.
The Indian Embassy learnt about the cases after the relatives of the detained workers submitted petitions to Indian authorities seeking their release, IP Usman Koya, chairman of the Non-Resident Keralites Forum (NRKF)- an organisation set up to safeguard the interests of Indian workers in Saudi Arabia, told Arab News.
'Why do Saudis kill innocents?'
Of the five Indians, two have been in jail since 2002 and the other three have been in detention since last September. "If these workers fail to pay the blood money, they will have to spend the rest of their lives in prison," Koya said.
There are plans to organise fund-raising events to help the workers.
The NRKF will contact members of the Indian Parliament to apprise them of the growing problems Indian workers face in the Gulf region and to seek help to facilitate the release of workers in Saudi jails, he was quoted as saying.
Currently there is no official mechanism to ascertain the exact number of Indians serving prison terms for various offenses in the Kingdom or those languishing in jails due to their inability to pay blood money, Koya said.