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2 Kerala families claim their men among dead

Saudi killings: Tailor, driver missing since 2010

Thiruvananthapuram | Published: March 4, 2014 12:35:10 am

The families of two men in Kerala have claimed that they were among the five buried alive in Saudi Arabia in 2010. The incident was reported last week after three of the 25 arrested in connection with the killings confessed to the crime in a court.

The families have no official communication from the government, but their friends in the Gulf identified the victims as Salim of Navaikulam in Thiruvananathapuram and Shajahan of Kottarakkara in Kollam. Both had gone missing since 2010 and their families believe they were in prison after they got involved in crimes.

Salim’s wife Shailaja said her husband had been missing since 2010. “A friend of my husband said he identified the wedding ring and the resident permit recovered from remains dug out from the farm. However, we are yet to get any confirmation from Indian or Saudi governments,’’ said Shailaja.

She said Salim, 50, a tailor had been in the Gulf for 15 years when he went missing on March 16, 2010. “We knocked at government offices, including the Indian Embassy, to trace my husband. His colleagues told us he was in jail. We believed that until now,’’ said Shailaja.

Shajahan’s wife Beena said another worker from Kerala, Yousaf, made the family believe Shajahan was arrested by police. Shajahan had been working as a driver. When he went missing in 2010, Shajahan had spent 11 years in Saudi.

“We believed what Yousaf said and hence did not go for any probe. On February 10, Yousaf called to say Shajahan’s body was recovered from a farm. He said Shajahan’s residence permit was found in the remains. Later, we came to know Yousaf was arrested in connection with the incident. Now, I suspect, he knew everything about the murder right from the beginning,’’ said Beena, mother of two minor girls.

The Arab News reported that a tenant stumbled upon decomposed human remains while clearing his land in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia. Former Left legislator and film director P T Kunju Muhammed said the incident showed negligence on the part of the Indian government. Muhammed, who anchors a TV programme to trace missing Indians in the Gulf, said, “Thousands of Indian workers had gone missing in Gulf countries. Many are languishing in jails for petty crimes. Even bodies of the dead could not be brought back home. The incident shows how we were callous about complaints.’’

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