Case against 17 to be re-opened, families panic
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There was panic at the homes of 17 youth, who had been pardoned after being awarded the death sentence in UAE, when news came in that their case was being re-opened. In January, 2010, the 17 youth were sentenced to death for the murder of Pakistani national, Misri Khan. He was allegedly murdered during a gang war over bootlegging. With the intervention of the Indian government and the efforts of UAE-based businessman and hotelier S P Singh Oberoi, the victim's family was paid blood money of Rs 8 crore, following which, the 17 were pardoned.
Just when the youth are on the verge of returning home, however, another Pakistani national, Mushtaq, has now approached a UAE court claiming that he was injured in the incident and has sought compensation. This case, apart from one for illegally selling liquor, will now be heard on October 21.
For the youths' families, who had been expecting their return, the news has come as a rude shock. Ravinder Singh, a resident of Patti in Taran Taran district, whose brother Suhjinder Singh is among the 17, said: "On Wednesday afternoon, my brother called my brother and told her that the case of murder had been re-opened and that they did not know what was happening to them now. My brother began crying and so did my mother. I could not talk to my mother because every one in the family suddenly became very anxious."
S P Singh Oberoi, who is currently in Punjab, said: "There is nothing to panic. Misri Khan's brother had filed an application in court on September 12 and the summons was sent to the boys in jail just a couple of days ago. I have talked to my legal team and they have told us that the boys need not appear in the court because we have already paid the blood money. Khan's brother is demanding compensation but we have already deposited the money with the court and now it is court's wish whom to give what. The court has already paid a set amount to Khan's mother, father, children and wife."
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