KOLLAM: Relatives of NRIs, languishing in jails in Oman, alleged apathy by the Indian Embassy in effectively intervening for their release even after the government there had eased punishment for those who have neared completion of the jail term. Several innocent people have been trapped as they lacked proper legal aid, they allege.
“The prisoners in jail in Muscat, Oman are eligible to get released in accordance with the law of the land as they have completed nearly 75 per cent of their jail term. The Indian Embassy is apathetic towards these prisoners and their laxity has denied freedom to these men who were trapped in various cases,” said N. Jayachandran who has been waging a legal battle for the release of the victims.
Shajahan from Thiruva-nanthapuram and Santh-osh from Alappuzha are in jail in Muscat for nearly 20 years. According to the law in Oman, if the convicted has completed 75 per cent of their jail term, the respective native countries can apply for their release. However, the Indian Embassy, though contacted repeatedly, refused to intervene for their release, the relatives of Shajahan alleged.
Shajahan and Santhosh who were working in a shop in Oman had loaned their neighbours hailing from another country an electric cutter. This cutter, without the knowledge of the duo, was used to loot a bank and a security guard was murdered in the attempt. The duo was also nabbed and convicted for 20 years of imprisonment.
Similar is the case of many who were trapped in various crimes without their direct involvement, said Mr Jayachandran. Abdul Manaf from Kannimelcheri in Kavan-adu has completed 9 years of his 10 year term while cases of Navas from Kothamangalam in Ernakulam, Surendran from Kunnel Colony in Alappuzha, Bharathan of Cherumala House, Kodu-vally in Kozhikkode, and Shiju from Vettoor in Varkala are no different.
The relatives allege lack of proper legal aid, which is to be initiated by the Embassy, has worsened the situation. “The Embassy authorities work for renewing passports of expatriates and sending dead bodies back to India, and nothing more,” they alleged....