Nepalis wrongly imprisoned in Saudi Arabia; PM Dahal promises succor
KATHMANDU - 11 innocent Nepali people, who had served seven-year jail term on the charge of killing an Indian national in Saudi Arabia, now have demanded justice.
They called on Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' at the latter's residence in Baluwatar and demanded commensurate compensation for the injustice done to them. It may be noted that they were arrested and later sentenced to Saudi jail in February 2010.
Saying that they were compelled to face such punishment due to ignorance on part of the former Ambassador and employees of the Nepali Embassy in Saudi Arab, the victims have also demanded action against the then officials of the Embassy.
The Saudi Arabian Court had sentenced jail term (from two to five years) after five and half years of their arrest. The Court had issued two-year jail term to Bhakta Bahadur Darjee of Rupandehi, Krishna Bahadur Damai of Nawalparasi and Som Tamang of Rasuwa, three years to Chkara Bahadur Gurung of Sunsari and Kesh Bahadur Nepali of Tanahun, four years to Bir Bahadur Budhathoki of Okhaldhunga and Ram Bahadur Tamang of Dhading and five years to Shree Kumar Rai of Bhojpur, Dipen Sharma of Jhapa and Bhim Prasad Chimoriya of Morang. But they got released one and half months ago only after seven years of their arrest.
The victims have expressed their concern that there were no efforts for their release from jail despite the registration of group application to Nepal's Ministry of Foreign Affairs by the victims' families some five years back, said Bhim Prasad Chimoriya, a victim.
"Had there been an effort from the end of Nepali Embassy in Saudi we would have been freed from jail within a couple of months. But we had to serve jail term without any reason owing to the sheer negligence of Embassy employees", he further noted.
The victims narrated to the Prime Minister that they were given electric shock and beaten until they turned unconsciousness in the Saudi jail. Even they were not provided sufficient food during jail term, they recounted.
One dies in jail
The victims also shared that one among the 11 Nepalis breathed his last in course of imprisonment.
Umesh Shrestha of Madhuban, Sunsari had lost his mental balance and life in course of the jail term. They claimed that his dead body has yet to be brought to Nepal.
I will take efforts for compensation: PM Dahal
After listening to the grievances of the victims, Prime Minister Dahal pledged that the Nepal government would make every effort to get them compensated from the Saudi government.
He also pledged to play an effective role from the government side to provide them with necessary compensation. The Prime Minister also expressed the commitment to immediately advance the process to bring back the dead body of Shrestha.