As last minute efforts, India has reached out to Indonesia to save an Indian man from execution in a drug peddling case, requesting the country to exhaust all legal recourses before the death penalty was carried out.
Gurdip Singh, 48, was found guilty by an Indonesian court of trying to smuggle in 300 grams of heroin and was handed death penalty in 2005. He is among death row convict who are likely to be executed tomorrow.
MEA Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said Indian Embassy officials in Jakarta are reaching out to the Indonesian foreign office and the senior leadership of the country on the issue.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj last night had said government was making last minute efforts to save Singh
“Afdhal Muhammad, the legal representative of Singh was of the view that he can file for Presidential clemency under the relevant law before the President of Indonesia. The Embassy sent a Note Verbal to the Indonesia’s Foreign Ministry requesting that all legal recourse should be exhausted before the death penalty is carried out,” Swarup said.
Singh, who hails from Jalandhar in Punjab, is among 14 people who are facing execution after the authorities decided to resume implementing death penalties. The decision was criticised by human rights organisations.
The 14 convicts to be executed include persons from Indonesia, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and Pakistan
Singh was arrested on August 29, 2004, at the Soekarno Hatta Airport on charges of drug trafficking. The Tangerang Court awarded him Capital Punishment in February 2005, against the prosecutors’ request for 20 years imprisonment.
His appeal against the death penalty was turned down by the High Court of Banten in May, 2005. He then appealed to the Supreme Court which also upheld his death penalty. He is presently detained at Nusakambangan Pasir Putih, Cilacap.
“As we speak, our Embassy Consular officials are camping in Cilacap and have met Shri Gurdip Singh,” said Swarup adding the officials are also in constant touch with Singh’s wife and brother in India and keeping them informed of the current situation.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj yesterday had said government was making last minute efforts to save Singh.