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Thousands Join Fundraiser to Save Keralite from Saudi Death Row with Rs340M Blood Money

Plea to save Rahim went viral on social media, and several celebrities, politicians and NRI groups joined the drive

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on April 13, 2024, 11:38:51

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Kerala, saudi, saudi death row

The deadline loomed like the sword of Damocles, but astonishingly, it took just four days for people in the South Indian state of Kerala to channel their compassion and rally together, raising an astounding Rs34 crore (15 million Saudi riyals) to save a man from the state from the gallows in Saudi Arabia.

In a remarkable display of solidarity, people in Kerala have joined forces to save Abdul Rahim, a native of Kozhikode. His only chance for survival is to pay the blood money of 15 million Saudi Riyals, roughly equivalent to Rs34 crore, before April 18, 2024.

Rahim has spent 18 years behind bars in Saudi Arabia for allegedly causing the death of a Saudi boy in 2006. Until five days ago, the action committee formed to work for Rahim's release had only managed to raise a modest amount. However, as the deadline approached, the campaign intensified, and support poured in from Keralites worldwide, the action committee reported on Friday.

Local sources claim that Rahim was imprisoned in 2006 after accidentally causing the death of a specially-abled boy under his care. He was sentenced to death in 2018 when the Saudi boy's family declined to grant amnesty.

Blood Money Offer

Members of the action committee informed the media that although appeals were rejected by higher courts, the family later agreed to pardon Rahim upon payment of 'blood money.'

Commending the spirit of the people of Kerala, state Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan hailed this as the "Real Kerala Story" of compassion and justice. "In the face of relentless hate campaigns targeting Kerala, the indomitable spirit of Malayalis shines through, uniting to uphold our state's resilience and compassion," Vijayan remarked.

"Abdul Rahim's ordeal, a Kerala man facing execution in Saudi Arabia, embodies this resilience. With Rs34 crore raised for his release, Kerala's commitment to its people and values is crystal clear, dispelling divisive falsehoods."
"

Gratitude to all who joined hands for this humanitarian cause. Together, we will continue to share the Real Kerala Story of compassion and justice," Vijayan concluded.

Tireless Effort

The action committee, addressing the media in Kerala, disclosed that over 75 organisations in the Gulf region, along with Kerala-based businessman Bobby Chemmannur and various political groups in the state, worked tirelessly in the final days to meet the deadline.

"A multitude of ordinary people contributed whatever they could, and all helped us raise the required funds," a committee member stated.
Rahim's mother expressed astonishment at the amount raised, stating, "I never imagined we could gather Rs34 crore, as we lacked the means. Yet somehow, it became possible."

The committee confirmed that all transactions were conducted through a mobile application created for crowd-sourcing, ensuring transparency.

Chemmannur organised multiple events in recent days to raise funds, even arranging the sale of one of his products and donating the proceeds to the cause. He has also pledged to offer Rahim a job upon his return to the state.

(The writer is a legal associate at NYK Law Firm, one of the top legal consultants in Dubai)

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