x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Death row Indians' Dh3.4m blood money deposited

Men convicted of killing a bootlegging rival will not be executed; a verdict is expected in September.

SHARJAH // Negotiators for 17 Indian men sentenced to death after a fatal bootlegging brawl deposited the remainder of their Dh3.4 million blood money with the court today, ensuring they will not be executed.

A representative for the family of Misri Nazir Khan, the Pakistani victim, signed the documents this morning waiving the family's right to demand the death penalty.

Today's hearing lasted more than 30 minutes, with the family representative and the Indian negotiators agreeing on the final blood money amount.

The 17 men will hear their verdict on September 12.

They were found guilty in March last year of beating to death Mr Khan in the Saaja industrial area of Sharjah in January 2009.

“Money will never bring him back,” said Sarfaraz Ahmed, 30, Mr Khan's brother, said last week. “He was my brother, my blood and that pain of losing him will remain with us for life. My aged parents have been crying since we accepted this money. They feel they have sold their son. Unfortunately, it is a compulsion, and we have to look out for the welfare of the entire family.”

Mr Ahmed said the family had decided to accept the money after elders in their village persuaded them to forgive the 17 Indians. Some of it will be used for the education of Mr Khan’s three-year-old daughter.

The 17 men — 16 from Punjab and one from Haryana — would still have to serve time in jail for murder, but their lawyers said they expect them to be released soon, as they have already spent more than 26 months in prison.

Bindu Suresh Chettur, the legal representative appointed by the Indian government, said there was no evidence to prove the men were guilty.

pkannan@thenational.ae