The family of Russia-based businessman Jitender Kumar Singla, who has recently been sentenced to six-and-a-half years in jail by a Moscow court on charges of defrauding the Capital city’s government, has demanded immediate intervention by the Indian government into the matter to secure his release.

Asserting that his son was innocent and was being framed, Mr. Singla’s father Khushal Chand, a resident of Greenfield Colony in Faridabad, said that the family was devastated by the turn of events. “Russia is one of India’s most trusted and old friends. Both countries and their citizens have cordial relations. How come Indian government has failed to secure my son’s release so far,” asked Mr. Chand. He also made an appeal to the Russian government to release his son.

Forty-one-year-old Mr. Singla had gone to Moscow in 1990 to study computer engineering, but soon set up his own business in the country. He began with renting business and gradually diversified into real estate, mini hotels and restaurants. His business soon grew into an empire and there was a time when he employed more than 300 people, mostly Indians. He was, however, arrested by the local police on March 28, 2012, under Section 165 (II-A&B) of the Russian Constitution for allegedly harming the business interests of others. He was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in jail by a Moscow court a month ago on charges of defrauding the Capital city’s government of more than 600 million rubles.

Mr. Singla’s family friend Vijay Kaushik, who is leading the campaign for his release, said the businessman was a victim of corrupt system and was framed. “Envious of his success and Indian origin, some locals conspired with the local police to harass him and eventually got him arrested on false charges,” said Mr. Kaushik.