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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 17/11/2012

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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Six Indian women are so desperate to get their convicted husbands out of a Dubai jail that they want to sell their kidneys to raise the 1.5 million rupees in blood money.

The case has generated so much concern that the Andhra Pradesh Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has directed the central and state governments to submit a report on the six construction workers who have been in jail for the past seven years, following their conviction in the murder of a Nepali guard in 2005.

Hyderabad's Human Rights Council vice-president M Bheem Reddy told Khaleej Times that the SHRC direction to the Ministry of Overseas Afffairs followed a representation made by the jailed men's wives, all hailing from different parts of Karimnagar district, seeking permission to sell their kidneys to meet legal expenses.

Five of the husbands, all construction workers, were sentenced to 24 years' imprisonment while the sixth was sentenced to 10 years. Their wives, however, maintain their husbands' innocence.

The women - Sivaratri Rajavva, wife of S Mallesh; S Rena, wife of S Ravi; Ellavva, wife of Nampelli Venkati; D Padma wife of Laxman; S Padma wife of S Hanumanthu and Reshma, wife of Syed Kareem - said in their joint petition they would like to sell their kidneys to raise the Rs1.5 million required to meet the 'diya' - or blood money - expense.

"We have no money even to feed our children since our husbands left for Gulf in search of jobs and we are not in a position to arrange such a huge amount for their release. Our earlier pleas to the state and the central governments for help evoked no response, so please permit us to sell our kidneys," the petitioners said.

As per Shariah Law, convicts can be released if a victim's family accepts compensation for the harm caused, and pardons the culprit or culprits.

The women said that they were hopeful of ending the ordeal as the wife of the Nepali guard had agreed to pardon the crime if she was paid compensation of Rs1.5 million.

The victim's wife made the offer after representatives of the Indian Consulate in Dubai held negotiations with her. The petitioners said that since they were not in a position to arrange such a huge amount and their requests to the state and the central governments for help evoked no response, they should be permitted to sell their kidneys. They also brought to the notice of the commission that Kerala and Punjab governments along with some philanthropists had extended financial assistance in similar cases.

The Indian Consulate in Dubai could not be reached for comments on Friday.

However, a community leader who coordinates blood money cases for the consulate said the mission generally pursued mercy petitions and pardon cases with the Ruler's Office and the Public Prosecution.

"If the prisoners or their wives send a formal petition, the consulate will definitely take it up. But we actively pursue the cases of convicts in accidental manslaughter cases, not in premeditated murder cases," said K. Kumar, the Convenor of the Indian Community Welfare Committee (ICWC) that works under the patronage of the consulate.

"From my experience, the convicts have to serve at least half of their prison term before applying for pardon by the victim's family by giving them the blood money. In this case I don't think it is time for them yet to seek pardon. I think only the convict who received 10 years' imprisonment can try for it now by paying his share of the blood money which is usually Dh200,000 for each life lost," he said.

The ICWC has previously secured the release of many Indian prisoners who were languishing in jails even after completing their prison terms as they could not raise the funds for the diya money.

"We will anyway look into the merit of this case and see what we can do," said Kumar.


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