Thiruvananthapuram: It was a homecoming 32-year-old Simil Sasi could only have dreamt of. Saved from the gallows in Kuwait and back home in Kerala, Mr Sasi met Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Wednesday and thanked him for saving his life.
When Mr Chandy was told that Mr Sasi was waiting at his house, he cut short his meetings on Wednesday evening to return home. Mr Sasi ran to the chief minister and embraced him, with tears rolling down his cheeks.
"Without your efforts, I might have died long ago," Mr Sasi said to the chief minister.
Mr Sasi had been condemned to death in Kuwait for accidentally stabbing to death a colleague from Andhra Pradesh, Suresh, at his workplace, a Kuwaiti resort, in 2008.
The two had got into a scuffle over a cricket match on November 21, 2007, and the stabbing occurred during the scuffle. Mr Sasi was then 26.
The Kuwait court ruled that only if the dead man's wife pardoned him would Mr Sasi be saved from the gallows.
This correspondent informed Mr Chandy, the then leader of the opposition, that unless a monetary compensation was made to the widow of the dead man, Mr Sasi might be hanged.
Mr Chandy got in touch with friends in Kuwait and raised Rs.10 lakh; then Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy chipped in with Rs. five lakh.
The money was handed over to the widow of the man Mr Sasi stabbed, who pardoned him.
Although he was saved from the gallows in April 2008, he still had to serve out a jail sentence, which only ended early this month.
He returned to his family in Alappuzha last week.
Mr Chandy's wife distributed sweets on the occasion.
Among those present at the chief minister's residence on Wednesday was Mr Sasi's mother.
The chief minister welcomed the young man back and advised him to put the past behind him to make a fresh start.