The Hindu (India's National Newspaper) Report
Monday, Sep 27, 2004 - By P. Ram Mohan
NIZAMABAD, SEPT. 26. Velpula Gangadhar, who belongs to Torlukonda in Jakranpally
mandal, has been languishing in a foreign prison since 1989.
In 1986, Gangadhar left for Abu Dhabi in search of work, leaving behind his
pregnant wife, Sulochana, and daughter, Jyothi. For the next three years, he
worked in SIMCO as a construction worker, sending money to his family.
Gangadhar landed in trouble when he picked a quarrel with Mohammed Sarif, a
foreman from Rajasthan working in the same company. When Mr. Sarif refused to
sanction leave for Gangadhar to visit his family, the latter inflicted knife
injuries on him. An Abu Dhabi court sentenced him to five years imprisonment and
imposed a penalty of 30,000 dirhams on him.
Change of faith
Following the advice of a fellow prisoner from Pakistan, who told him the court
would remit his sentence and release him provided he changed his religion,
Gangadhar converted to Islam and changed his name as Khadar. He pleaded for the
same in the court in 1990. When asked why he had converted to Islam, he
confessed that he had done so for the reduction of his punishment. Incensed, the
court further sentenced him to another 15 years imprisonment.
18 years in jail
Since then, he has been serving the sentence and has completed 18 years in jail
so far, according to the organising secretary of the Armoor Sub-Division Dalitha
Ikya Sangatan Committee, Jangam Ashok.
Gangadhar's relatives came to know about the extension of his punishment only
recently when they have been informed of it by Narsing of Jagityal who got back
after serving a sentence in the same prison on the charge of selling liquor
illegally in Abu Dhabi.
Gangadhar's family took up the issue with the then MP but nothing came of it.
His wife and children live in poverty.
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