Malathy from Thanjavur has travelled multiple times to Kerala's Malappuram to seek pardon for her husband.

Can a TN woman save husband from death row in Kuwait Hope on the horizon
news Human Interest Thursday, November 23, 2017 - 19:12

When 45-year-old Malathy, a native of Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu reached Kerala on Tuesday morning, there was an air of familiarity around her. This was not her first time to Malappuram district, but her fourth visit. 

Her frequent travel to Kerala is for a singular purpose – to save her husband Arjunan from the gallows in Kuwait. Working as a labourer in Kuwait, Arjunan was arrested by the police in 2013 for killing his roommate Abdul Wajid in a fit of rage.

Wajid, a native of Malappuram had left behind a family, including a wife and two children. 

A year ago, the apex court in Kuwait awarded the death sentence to Arjunan for his crime. However, as per Kuwaiti law, Arjunan’s death sentence can be commuted if Wajid’s family pardons him and agrees to accepting diya or blood money (compensation).

What followed over the course of a year, were multiple meetings between Malathy and Wajid’s wife and mother. But the grieving family were unwilling to compromise and sign documents to reprieve Arjunan.

Malathy says that eight months ago Wajid’s wife agreed to pardon Arjunan in return for compensation of Rs 10 lakh. However, following objections from Wajid’s mother and brother, the blood money was raised to Rs 30 lakh.

"How can a housemaid like me afford to pay such a huge sum of money? When I met his wife previously, she had told me that she will help me. But when I met the family in August, Wajid's mother and brother demanded more money," Malathy told TNM over the phone. 

After months of negotiations, Tuesday’s visit to Malappuram finally offered Malathy and her husband a ray of hope. Returning to her one-room house in Thanjavur on Wednesday, Malathy, who lives with her 15-year-old daughter, hopes her year-long struggle will come to an end thanks to Munnawarali Thangal.

Thangal is the son of an influential IUML leader in Kerala and Arjunan’s likely saviour.  

After several media organisations reported about Malathy's desperate attempts to save her husband, Munnawarali Thangal reached out to her, offering help.

"We met him at his house in Panangad and he has assured us that he will collect the necessary amount of money. We believe they will do so," Malathy’s relative, Ali says. 

Thangal together with Kottakkal MLA Abid Hussain has launched a crowdfunding initiative to raise the compensation amount of Rs 30 lakh.

"Wajid's family is also facing financial constraints just like Malathy. We understand that Wajid's family demanding such a huge amount is a challenge for Malathy. But as far as Wajid's family is concerned, as much as they don't want to be seen demanding money as compensation, one must understand that the family lost its only earning member. So, we decided that we will help raise the amount ourselves so that it is fair to both the parties," says the IUML MLA.

Malathy prays that Thangal keeps his promise and that every rupee donated will be one step closer to saving her husband from the gallows.

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