Saudi Arabia beheaded two Indian citizens belonging to Punjab after they allegedly murdered another Indian there. The Indian embassy was not informed of the executions by the middle-eastern kingdom, according to a statement by the foreign ministry. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh condemned the incident, calling it “totally barbaric and inhuman” and accused the foreign ministry “for failing to prevent, and then not disclosing the execution of the two men”. According to rules, the families of the two men might not get their bodies and will instead get death certificates.
The two men, identified as Satwinder Kumar of Hoshiarpur and Harjeet Singh of Ludhiana, had gone to Saudi Arabia in 2013 on a work permit and were executed on February 28 this year.
The two were charged with killing Arif Imamuddin, another Indian citizen, who they got into a fight with over distribution of money they had looted.
Seema Rani, the wife of Satwinder Kumar had filed a petition to get information about the whereabouts of her husband. She received a reply from the foreign ministry saying he was arrested for the murder on December 9, 2015.
“If the executions were undertaken without prior information even to the Indian Embassy in Saudi Arabia, with the victims not provided legal counsel, it amounted to a grave violation of human rights,” Amarinder Singh said in a statement, according to PTI.
What makes the incident more appalling, Mr Singh said, was that the families would not get a chance to see the bodies of the men and perform their last rites.
Mr Singh also said he would call upon the UN and other global human rights organisations to put serious attention on the incident.
In his statement, Mr Singh also said pressure must be put on Saudi Arabia “to end its ancient and blatantly illegal practices which were against all norms of humanity”.
He also said bringing the bodies back should not be a problem for India, citing friendly relations between the two countries.
Mr Singh also cited the Saudi Arabian Crown Prince’s recent visit to the country, where in Prime Minister Narendra Modi had broken protocol and given a warm welcome to him, according to PTI.
“If needed, the Prime Minister himself should intervene to ensure the return of their mortal remains,” said Mr Singh in the statement, according to news agency IANS.
(With Inputs From PTI And IANS)
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