Two men belonging to Punjab have been executed by beheading in Saudi Arabia, the Ministry of External Affairs confirmed on Wednesday.
According to reports, two men, identified as Satwinder Kumar of Hoshiarpur and Harjeet Singh of Ludhiana, were executed in connection with a murder case. The Indian embassy in Saudi Arabia, however, was not informed before Satwinder Kumar of Hoshiarpur and Harjeet Singh of Ludhiana were executed on February 28, said MEA.
As per officials Satwinder and Harjeet were arrested on December 9, 2015, on charges of allegedly murdering Arif Imamuddin, another Indian national.
Expressing shock over the deaths of two men, Punjab Chief Minister has condemned the execution, called it as “totally barbaric and inhuman” and he said that he would seek a detailed report from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
Reportedly, Amarinder Singh also said that he would seek information from the MEA regarding the charges and whether the due legal representation was provided to the two men.
He further expressed shock and grief over the “vicious act” and said it was atrocious that such incidents continued to happen in civilised nations even today. Captain Amarinder Singh has also criticised the MEA for failing to prevent, and then not disclosing the execution of the two men till it was forced to do so by a petition filed by Satwinder’s wife in Hoshiarpur district.
“If the executions were undertaken without prior information even to the Indian Embassy in Saudi Arabia, with the victims not provided legal counsel, it amounted to a grave violation of human rights,” the chief minister said in a statement here Wednesday.
The Punjab Chief Minister called upon the United Nations and other global human rights organisations to take serious cognizance of the incident and pressure Saudi Arabia “to end its ancient and blatantly illegal practices which were against all norms of humanity”.
As per the Saudi system, the families of the two deceased will only get death certificates and not the mortal remains, the MEA informed Satwinder’s wife Seema Rani. However, the chief minister said he would seek Swaraj’s intervention to take up the matter with the Saudi authorities at the highest level.
Captain Singh asked the Prime Minister to intervene himself to ensure the return of their mortal remains. The central government should also take steps to ensure that such incidents are not repeated and no Indian is denied justice or his/her legitimate right in any manner in the future, the chief minister said.
Reportedly, the family of Satwinder had received a call from Saudi Arabia on March 2 informing them about the execution. As there was no official confirmation, Satwinder’s wife Rani approached the MEA. However, she did not receive any confirmation regarding the incident, hence she filed a petition in Punjab and Haryana High Court, which issued a notice to the Centre on April 8 asking it to confirm if Satwinder had been executed in Saudi Arabia.
Following the High Court direction, the External affairs ministry confirmed the execution of Satwinder Singh and Harjit Singh. The MEA said that the Indian embassy on March 3 requested the Saudi authorities for providing information about the mortal remains of the two.