Shoeb Alam Iraqi barely has enough money to eat and is unable to support family back home, yet he owes Dh200,000
UAE Helping Hands: Indian father can't afford to pay blood money for fatal accident
Shoeb Alam Iraqi barely has enough money to eat once a day, let alone support the family in India he hasn't seen for a year. Yet he is facing a Dh200,000 blood money bill over a fatal accident he says he played no part in.
The civil engineer, 39, was ending his shift at one of his company's projects in Jebel Ali back in August when an incident occurred that sadly ended one life, and changed his.
The father-of-two said: “I was on the ground floor and a plumbing foreman was electrocuted while he was on the terrace.”
Mr Iraqi was not in a position of responsibility over the foreman, they worked in different departments. Yet the court has ordered that Mr Iraqi pay the blood money for the death of his colleague.
“The police arrived and they began questioning us,” he said. Mr Iraqi called the owner and informed him of the incident, who asked him to go with the police and answer their questions.
He later discovered that his employer had passed on his passport to the police.
After the case was referred to court, Mr Iraqi was acquitted; however, the prosecution appealed and it was decided that he had to pay diya (blood money) of Dh200,000 if he was to avoid prison and have his passport returned.
“I don’t have the money. I can't pay it and I can't move to another job because my passport is withheld,” he said.
Mr Iraqi has received another job offer but they cannot hire him without a passport.
He said that he hasn't seen his family in over a year and has not been paid since last year. After the case, the company lost many of their projects and terminated his contract. He hasn't sent his family support money in over a year, either.
Mr Iraqi is the sole breadwinner and supports his mother in addition to his wife and two daughters. “I have been borrowing money and living with friends. I barely have enough money to eat and am lucky if I eat once a day,” he said.
Hisham Al Zahrani, manager of zakat and social services at Dar Al Ber, said that Mr Iraqi has contacted the Indian consulate but after numerous letters from the consulate to the company, they have advised him to hire a lawyer.
“I have no money for a lawyer. I will die here and so will my family back home,” Mr Iraqi said.
The company have refused to pay the Dh200,000 blood money for him, claiming that they are bankrupt and that their insurance has refused to pay even though they had previously promised that they would.
“Without the blood money, Mr Iraqi has no way of going back home to India and will lose the other job offer. He will not be able to find employment anywhere or leave the country. We hope that readers can help him,” Mr Al Zahrani said.
He said that the consulate has asked that legal action be taken against the owner of the company.