Two Punjabi men were executed by beheading in Saudi Arabia on 28 February, the Ministry of External Affairs has confirmed, reported The Indian Express.
The two men have been identified as Satwinder Kumar of Hoshiarpur and Harjeet Singh of Ludhiana.
Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh expressed his disbelief over this information, calling it "barbaric and inhumane". He has also stated that he will be seeking a detailed report of the same from the MEA, reported Business Standard.
Both men had been arrested on 9 December 2015 in connection with the murder of another Indian national, said Business Standard. They were sent to the Riyadh prison, where it is alleged that they ended up confessing.
This information came to light after Satwinder's wife, Seema Rani, had petitioned in Haryana High court about the whereabouts of her husband, said Business Standard. The Punjab CM took the MEA's case about the withholding of such information from the deceased's wife.
He said, as reported by Business Standard:
“It is atrocious that such incidents continue to happen in civilised nations in this day and age.”
The Indian Express reported that Seema Rani received a letter from MEA on Tuesday, 16 April 2019 which was signed by Prakash Chand, director (consular) and it read:
“Our embassy in Riyadh received a note verbale dated February 28, 2019 from Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs by fax in the evening the same day stating implementation of execution order of late Satwinder Singh and Harjit Singh on 28 February 2019. The embassy had not been informed about execution beforehand”.
The MEA said that the Indian embassy on 3 March requested the Saudi authorities for providing information about the mortal remains of the two, stated The Indian Express. “As no response was received from Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the embassy’s note, a reminder was sent on 14 March but a response is still awaited…”
It further added “been informally learnt that under the Saudi system, the mortal remains of those who are executed are not handed over either to the embassy of that country or to the family members of the deceased”. Thus, the families of the deceased will only be receiving certificates of their death but not the bodies.
(With inputs from Business Standard and The Indian Express)
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