17 INDIANS DEATH ROW, APPEAL FILED IN SHARJAH HIGH COURT

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An appeal has been filed in the Sharjah High Court against the death sentence awarded to 17 Indian youths by the Sharjah Shariat Court in UE.

According to the Indian Consulate, which has hired a Dubai Law Firm to represent the accused, the appeal was filed.

Mr Mohammad Salman had been engaged as Counsel in the High Court for these 17 Indians in UE and Vakalatnamas, duly signed by all the 17 youths, had been taken by the Consulate through the Counsel for filing their appeal.

India could go for a second appeal in the Supreme Court in Abu Dhabi after the Sharjah High Court decision.

Thereafter, a mercy petition could also be filed before the President of Abu Dhabi.

The 17 Indians -- 16 from Punjab and one from Haryana -- were sentenced to death by a Sharjah Shariah court on March 29 this year for killing a Pakistani and leaving three others injured in a clash in 2009.

The court sentenced the 17 men to death after all evidence, including DNA tests showed they had knifed the Pakistani to death.

The 2009 attack allegedly followed a fight over the control of illegal liquor business in the Al Sajaa area of Sharjah, one of the emirates of UE.

Liquor sale and consumption is banned in Sharjah while it is allowed in the nearby emirates of Ajman and Dubai.

In a similar case, another batch of 13 Indians are facing trial in Dubai for burying alive a member of a rival gang dealing in illicit liquor.

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