The families of the both the deceased, who had gone to Saudi Arabia on work permits in 2013, may not get their bodies because of restrictions in place in that country. The MEA, however, expected to get their death certificates by the end of April.
These details were revealed by MEA after a petition was filed by Satwinder’s wife Seema Rani of Safdarpur Kullian village in Hoshiarpur district to get information on the whereabouts of her husband. In a letter, from the MEA to Seema on Monday evening, it was revealed that Satwinder and Harjeet, a native of Machhiwara village in Ludhiana, were arrested on December 9, 2015 in connection with murder of Arif Imamuddin, another Indian national.
‘Executed without informing embassy’
According to the ministry, Harjeet and Satwinder were arrested and kept in Dammam jail for drinking liquor and fighting, but on completion of their sentences in the liquor case and during deportation formalities that involved fingerprinting for final exit from Saudi Arabia, they were found to be linked to the murder of Imamuddin.
“They were, therefore, shifted to Riyadh jail for trial of the murder case and during investigation both of them confessed to their crime. The hearing of their case on May 31, 2017 was attended by an embassy official. At that time, the case file was transferred to an appeal court adding an additional charge of ‘hirabha (highway robbery that also invites capital punishment)’,” according to the MEA communication.
The letter, signed by Prakash Chand, director (consular), added that embassy officials used to visit the jail where the two Punjabi men were confined to follow up about the status of their trial.
“However, both were executed on February 28, 2019 without informing the embassy. Several communications were made to ministry of foreign affairs, Saudi Arabia to get the mortal remains but it has been learnt that the Saudi system does not permit handing over the bodies of those executed, to the embassy or families of the deceased,” the MEA claimed in the letter to Satwinder’s wife.
Reacting to the MEA letter, lawyer of deceased Satwinder’s family, advocate Vinod Kumar said it was shocking that the embassy was not informed about the execution. He also claimed that residents of Satwinder’s village are in shock as they could not believe that Satwinder could be involved in so many criminal activities, as claimed by the MEA.
Satwinder had gone to Saudi Arabia in 2013 as a truck driver for a company called Al-Majid.