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Dubai businessman saves Punjabi boy from gallows

Gurpreet of Gurdaspur arrived at Amritsar airport from UAE

Dubai businessman saves Punjabi boy from gallows

Gurpreet being welcomed by his mother at Amritsar airport.

Tribune News Service

Ravi Dhaliwal

Gurdaspur, March 23

A Gurdaspur-based youth who was sentenced to death four years ago by a UAE court for murdering a fellow Punjabi has been saved from the gallows by a Dubai-based Punjabi businessman who paid blood money to the victim’s kin.

Blood money is financial aid or some sort of compensation paid by an offender, or his well-wisher, to the family of the victim.

Gurpreet Singh, who hails from Shekhupur village, arrived at Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport this morning. He was received by his family members and volunteers of the ‘Sarbat-Da-Bhala’ Trust, which is headed by Dr Surinder Pal Singh Oberoi, a Dubai-based construction magnate and a globally recognized philanthropist. The volunteers who were present at the airport were Manpreet Singh Sandhu, Sukhdeep Singh Sidhu, SS Hayer and Navjit Singh.

Gurpreet’s mother Baljit Kaur and wife Megha were also at the airport to receive him. His father, Paramjit Singh, had died two years ago.

The Trust had paid two lakh Dirhams, which comes to approximately Rs 45 lakh, to the family of a boy belonging to Hoshiarpur district who was murdered to death by Gurpreet and three fellow Pakistani workers in 2019. Some contributions were also made by the families of the offenders but due to some reason they did not disclose the amount they had paid. Gurpreet and his Pakistan friends — Rai Mohammad Adil, Rana Tabish Rashid and Javed Cheema — had entered into an altercation with the victim in Sharjah following which he was beaten to death.

Gurpreet and his colleagues were subsequently jailed. Dr Oberoi came to know of the facts of the case and approached the victim’s family for an ‘honorable settlement’. This settlement came in the form of Rs 45 lakh being paid by Oberoi through his Trust.

The businessman has so far rescued 138 persons of different nationalities from the gallows by paying blood money since 2010.

In the UAE, Oberoi is popularly known as ‘Saviour Singh’ for saving the lives of scores of people from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Philippines. In 2010, he saved the lives of 17 Indians who were given the death penalty for having murdered a Pakistani youth in a group fight. “I was unable to fathom the idea of 17 persons being hanged to death for a single person’s death. I fought their case and paid US Dollars 2.2 million from my pocket to save their lives after paying blood money. To me, the simplest acts of kindness are far more powerful than a thousand heads bowing in prayers,” he said.

Oberoi donates 98 per cent of his income to his ‘Sarbat-Da-Bhala’ Trust for philanthropic activities. The Trust assists in rescuing girls from the Gulf region, bringing dead bodies home, and helping differently-abled and underprivileged people by educating and providing financial support to them.

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

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