17 youths convicted of murder in UAE to reach Amritsar today
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Nearly three years after they were convicted and awarded death penalty on March 28, 2010 by a UAE court for the murder of Pakistani national Misri Khan in a bootlegging case, 17 Indians — 16 of them Punjabis and one from Haryana — are set to return home on Tuesday.
"All the 17 Indians will board an Air India flight from Dubai to New Delhi late tonight," Dubai-based hotelier S P Singh Oberoi, who played a pivotal role in their release, told The Indian Express over phone on Monday.
Oberoi will accompany the 17 youths, who will land in New Delhi in wee hours on Tuesday. They will then head straight to the Golden Temple in Amritsar, where they will meet their family members. "The family members of the youth are reaching Golden Temple and we hope to reach there in the afternoon," Oberoi said, adding that he had paid nearly Rs 6 crore as blood money to secure the release of the youths after they were convicted for the murder of Misri Khan, who died on January 9, 2009.
After their conviction by a court on March 28, 2010, their case had gone to the appeal court on April 8, 2010. The Indian government had appointed five lawyers to plead their case. It was during a hearing on December 12, 2010 that Mohammad Ramzan, a representative of Misri Khan's family, said the family was ready for a compromise. Oberoi met Ramzan for negotiations over the blood money to be paid.
A series of flip flops followed. While on April 28, 2011, Ramzan told the court that Khan's family only wanted revenge and not blood money, later on July 20, 2011, he told the court that family was ready to pardon the 17 youths in lieu of blood money.
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