India to file mercy petition for Indians on death row in Qatar

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India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday said the Indian government will file a mercy petition on behalf of the family members of two men from Tamil Nadu who were sentenced to death by Qatar’s Supreme Court last year, IANS news agency reported.

The Minister, who had sought a report from the Indian Ambassador in Qatar on Saturday, said the Embassy has requested the Tamil Nadu government to help in filing the mercy plea for Alagappa Subramaniam and Chelladurai Perumal who are accused of killing an elderly woman in Doha’s New Salata area in 2012.

The death sentence of the third convict, Shivakumar Arasan, who is also from Tamil Nadu, has been commuted to life imprisonment.

“We have to file mercy petition on behalf of their family members. Our Embassy has requested Government of Tamil Nadu in this regard,” the Minister said in a tweet.

“I have received report from Qatar reg death sentence for Alagappa Subramaniam and Chelladurai Perumal, both from Tamil Nadu,” she said in an earlier tweet.

On December 8, the Ministry, in its weekly media briefing, had said: “Subramanian Alagappa and Chelladurai Perumal continue to remain on death row. The third convict, Shivakumar Archunan, his case was reviewed by the appeals court and his death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment.”

“We had filed a case in respect of all three because we believe that the penalty is too harsh … Our Embassy in Qatar continues to closely monitor this case in association with the lawyer who has been appointed for all three accused,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup added.

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Meanwhile, Indian ambassador P Kumaran said the petition has to come from the families of the convicts.
“We will forward it to the Emiri Diwan through the Foreign Office,” he told Gulf Times.

The Indian embassy said it was awaiting a copy of the court verdict to ‘proceed further’.

Published on 10 January 2017

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