Unable to pay compensation, 74-year-old Kerala man remains in Abu-Dhabi prison for 14 yrs
Irinjalakuda: A 74-year-old man has been lodged in an Abu Dhabi prison for 14 years after he failed to pay Rs 75 lakh as compensation (blood money). Irinjalakuda Kannikulangara native Gopalakrishnan's family is struggling to find the amount needed for his release. Even though the compensation was agreed upon 11 years ago, the family is still unable to make the money.
Gopalakrishnan was imprisoned in Abu Dhabi in connection with the death of Chandran hailing from Nayarambalam. An agreement was made with Chandran's family in 2010 through the intervention of Ernakulam Collector that they will pardon Gopalakrishnan if Rs 75 lakh is paid to the dependents of the deceased.
Chandran was a friend of Gopalakrishnan. They had been staying together in a rented room in Abu Dhabi for many years. In June 2007, there was a quarrel between Chandran and an Andhra Pradesh native who was staying in their room.
Upon hearing the noise, Gopalakrishnan, who was chopping vegetables in the kitchen, came to the room with a knife. During the argument, Chandran and Gopalakrishnan fell over and the knife pierced into Chandran's body. Chandran died after being severely injured.
Gopalakrishnan's wife Thankamani, now 70, and their three sons have been trying to save Gopalakrishnan ever since. She said that she met many people and sought help but nothing happened. Gopalakrishnan is suffering from age-related ailments. The negotiation deal that was made between the two families was reported at the Abu Dhabi court via the Indian embassy.
Meanwhile, Sunitha, wife of Chandran, stated that there is no benefit for them even if Gopakrishnan remained in jail. 'He was the breadwinner of the family. So, we made a compensation deal in 2010 in the presence of the collector. However, Gopakrishnan’s family later stated that they are unable to pay the compensation. I have been going after this case since 2011, but nothing happened. I have three daughters and I have to make their future safe,” she added.