Family unable to pay Rs 9m as blood money for release
KAVRE, July 5: Ramchandra Timilsina of Kushadevi-2 in Kavre district saw foreign employment as the only option to clear long-standing debts, pay for his children's education and bring a measure of economic stability to his family.
When he left for Saudi Arabia about two years ago, he already had Rs 600,000 debt on his shoulder.
But unfortunately, he was falsely accused of murder 15 months ago and has been languishing in Saudi's jail since then. The court has sought 300,000 Saudi Riyal as blood money, which is about Rs 9 million.
“After loading cement in my truck from Jabiraha Hayal Cement Company, I had parked the truck in the company's parking lot,” he told Republica in a phone interview. “A car belonging to Pakistani citizens hit my parked truck, in which one person died. As Pakistani people have more influence in that area, they managed to plant a bottle of alcohol in my truck, after which they accused me of drunk driving,” he added.
Ramchandra had contacted Kathmandu-based Worldwide Employment Pvt Ltd which had promised him of heavy driver visa in Saudi. However, he was forced to work in an unregistered company as a 16-wheeler truck driver. He came to know that the truck which he was driving was not insured because as it was very old. The truck owner had come to meet him after 21 days of the incident and never again.
The Saudi court took months to settle his case. On April 25 this year, the court declared him guilty of murdering a Pakistani national and fined him 300,000 Saudi riyal.
“I came here hoping to earn enough to pay my debt of Rs 600,000. How can I pay such a huge fine? I have sought help from the Nepali Embassy countless times, but to no avail.”
Back home, Ramchandra's family has been living in a makeshift shelter as their house was destroyed by the devastating quake last year. His wife, Sarita said they have not received even the first phase of quake relief amount and warm clothes from the government.
“We are neck deep in debt. There is no way we can arrange money to pay for my husband's release,” she said.