Jeddah: Unable to meet a small demand of blood money from a poor family, a Telangana Dalit youth has been languishing in jail for nearly two decades in the Gulf.
Daruri Buchanna, a native of Raikal mandal in Jagtial district, was working as a labourer in Sharjah, UAE and was sharing accommodation with B Govardhan of Balkonda mandal of Nizamabad district. Bucchanna killed his compatriot at the accommodation following an argument in 2001.
Buchanna was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. Since then, he has been in the prison in Sharjah. In fact, his release can be facilitated easily by reaching out to the victim’s family who live in neighbouring district of Nizamabad and pay them blood money known as ‘Diya’ in Arabic. In 2007, P Narayanaswamy, president of Shramika Shakti, an NGO based in Mahabubnagar, initiated the negotiations with Radha, wife of Govardhan to secure the release of Buchanna.
Radha demanded Rs 3 lakh and a piece of land for house and agriculture in her village. The family was trapped in debts after Govardhan left for Gulf on job visa, according to her.
On the other hand, Buchanna’s family is also poverty-ridden, with his two brothers doing menial jobs as farm labour and village servant known. The family expressed their inability to meet the demand of the family of the deceased and after several appeals to government for assistance went in vain, it has lost hope of his release.
In prison, Buchanna developed depressive disorder and psychotic suffering with multiple health issues. He is wheel chair-bound and his health condition has left him isolated from rest of the inmates. He is not even in a position to differentiate between prison walls and paddy fields of his village, sources who have seen him in the jail said.
After Buchanna, some other Indians sentenced for similar offences were able to secure their release from prison through reconciliation with deceased families and paying blood money. The amounts they have paid is much higher than what Govardhan’s widow has demanded.
It may be mentioned here that Suresh of Kadapa district was killed by a Malayali, Simil, in Kuwait in 2007 under similar circumstances as Govarardhan in Sharjah. The then Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajashekhar Reddy gave Rs 5 lakh monetary assistance to Suresh’s widow and another Rs 10 lakh as raised by Malayali community for the blood money to secure the release of Simil.
In Buchanna’s case, unfortunately there has been no show of solidarity or help being extended by the SC leadership in the State.