17 Indian prisoners, who were on a death row over murdering a Pakistan national in United Arab Emirates (UAE), have been released.
They arrived home on Tuesday after a social group paid blood money to secure their release.
The court's decision came after the deceased's kin was paid Rs. 6 crore as blood money by a social group, an organization that has been at the forefront of the campaign to secure the release of these 17 convicts.
S. P. Singh Oberoi, chief of the India-based social group who paid the blood money, said that the Indian government also aided them legally to obtain their release.
"The total amount given as blood money is Rs.6 crore. The Indian government didn't pay money but helped us legally. The government gave us lawyers to fight the case and reopen it and the Indian consulate bore the expenses of the lawyers," said Oberoi.
The prisoners were happy to return after undergoing the ordeal and expressed their gratitude towards the people who made an effort for their release.
"We are very happy to come home and meet our parents. We had lost hope of coming back to India, after we were on a death penalty. We will now go to the Golden Temple and seek blessings," said Arvinder Singh, one of the prisoners freed by UAE.
The 17 men hailing from Punjab and Haryana were found guilty in March 2010 for killing a Pakistani expatriate, Misri Nazir Khan, in the Sajaa Industrial Area of Sharjah in January 2009. (ANI)