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17 Indians gets death sentence in UAE, India looks for options to help

Indian consulate officials in Dubai Tuesday got access to 17 Indians sentenced to death in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for killing a Pakistani as a shocked Indian government pledged to provide all legal aid to them.

The sentenced Indians were in good health, sources said here. The government is now awaiting a detailed report from the consulate before exploring legal options.

The Indian consulate general in Dubai has sought consular access to these Indians and is seeking a copy of the judgment of Sharjah's Shariah court that sentenced them.

The Indians, most of them being from Punjab, were accused of killing a Pakistani and injuring three Pakistanis following a row over illegal alcohol business.

"We will give them consular assistance and we will also try to find out in what other ways we can help them out to file an appeal in the higher court," External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna said.

Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi added: "(We will) see that everything is done and give an important lawyer and also financial assistance to the accused. Definitely, we will try to help these people who are in need of government help."

"The death sentence is rather shocking. We have decided to give maximum possible help to them," he said.

India's consulate general in Dubai is in touch with the Sharjah authorities.

"Whenever information is required about the incarceration of Indian nationals, consular access is sought by the consulate," the consulate said in a statement.

"Information about such detention is conveyed to the family members where required. In the case of destitute, legal advice is arranged," it said.

The consulate pointed that the Indian community in the UAE was overwhelmingly law abiding and their contribution was widely recognised and appreciated. (IANS)

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