Indian expatriates in UAE have raised over Rs. 62 lakhs to help fellow countrymen, who are imprisoned on traffic-related offences in the Emirates due to their inability to pay blood money.

The fund will be mainly used to rescue drivers who have caused traffic accidents and are languishing in jail due to non-payment of blood money.

The fund, set up by Indian Business and Professional Council, Sharjah and Indian Golfers Society — UAE, raised 500,000 dirhams (Rs 62.14 lakhs) at a golf tournament dinner last Saturday, said the organisations in a statement.

Under Shariah law, blood money is the compensation paid by an offender to the relatives of the victim. It is paid not only for murder but also in case the responsibility of an unnatural death like in an accident falls on a person.

A member of the Humanitarian Fund Management Committee, however, declined to confirm whether this fund will help the 17 Indians who are on a death row for killing a Pakistani in Sharjah.

“The matter is sub-judice and until a verdict is out, we will not be able to speculate on whether that is a possibility,” K V Shamsudhin told PTI.

The 17 Indians who have been sentenced to death have appealed against the sentencing in the Sharjah Court of Appeals.

According to him, the fund has been earmarked to help around 30 Indians who are imprisoned on traffic-related offences and are unable to pay blood money.

“We are doing this to help our fellow Indians as part of our social responsibility. Lot of funds is needed for the cause and IGS and IBPC — Sharjah shall continue this drive and write to companies in the UAE to contribute towards the Fund as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility,” said Chairman of both the organisations, Sudesh Aggarwal, in a statement.

Forty per cent of the fund amount shall be put at the disposal of Indian Community Welfare Committee (ICWC), an organisation working under the direct supervision of Indian Consulate in Dubai, for the release of non-criminal Indians who are in the UAE jails for non-payment of blood money.

Lauding the initiative, Indian Consul General in Dubai Sanjay Verma said this would go a long way in helping the needy.

He said this may act as a catalyst for other organisations to assume part of their social responsibility.

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