Seventeen Indians have been sentenced to death after they were convicted by a Shariah court for the murder of a Pakistani.

According to the Khaleej Times, a UAE daily, Judge Yousuf Al Hamadi sentenced the 17 men to death after all evidence, including DNA tests, showed they had knifed the Pakistani to death. Three Pakistanis were injured but managed to flee following the attack, over control of the clandestine liquor business in Sharjah's Al Saaja area. Police picked up the 17 from a group of around 50 involved in the assault.

Diplomatic sources that the Indian Consulate in Dubai had sought access to the convicted. The Consulate is also expected to arrange legal assistance for the 17. Consular access has also been sought for 18 who have apparently been involved in a separate incident in connection with the bootlegging business.

The 17 facing death are expected to appeal against their sentence within the next 15 days, the sources said.

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