Prabhjot Singh, Tribune News Service
Chandigarh/Dubai, January 17. A long-drawn legal battle finally come to an end today as 17 Indian boys, who have been languishing in Sharjah jail for more than three years, got the final approval from the Sharjah court and were cleared for deportation.
All of them had got death sentence, which the court had waived in 2011 after Dubai businessman SP Singh Oberoi paid blood money of one million US dollars to the parents of the victim Mishri Khan.
But, permission to leave the United Arab Emirates was held up as a civil petition seeking compensation for those injured in the Mishri Khan murder case was filed.
The case pertains to 2009 when a group of Indian workers clashed with a group of workers from Pakistan in which Mishri Khan of Sargodha was killed and two of his cousins — Mushtaq Ahmed and Shahid Iqbal — were grievously injured.
Subsequently 17 Indian boys were charged for a drunken brawl leading to murder and arson. They were subsequently convicted and sentenced to death. It was under pressure from the media that the Indian mission in UAE hired a team of lawyers to defend the Indian boys who pleaded innocent. An appeal was filed in the Sharjah Appeal Court against the orders of the Sharjah Court in April 2010.
It was during hearing of the appeal that the Sharjah Court asked the defence team if it was prepared for settlement under Diya – blood money – to which it reluctantly agreed holding that it had a fool proof case.
Oberoi paid up the blood money and the court also endorsed the settlement deal and waived the death sentence in 2011. But then the civil petition was filed and it took more than a year for adjudication and forced the 17 Indian boys to have an extended stay in the Sharjah jail even after their death sentence had been waived.
S P Singh Oberoi says that with the pronouncement of a joint compensation of AED 1,00,000 for Mushtaq Ahmed and Shahid Iqbal for grievous injuries they received in the clash will now get Indian boys released.
Mishri Khan of Pakistan was killed and two were injured in a clash in Sharjah in 2009
The Sharjah police prosecuted 17 Indian boys. They were sentenced to death. All convicts are from Punjab and Haryana
On September 12, 2011, the court waived the death sentence of all the convicts after they paid the “blood money”
On September 23 when they were about to return to India, a civil petition seeking relief for the two injured was filed