//Stolen Diamond Case, Indian in Kuwait Jail

Stolen Diamond Case, Indian in Kuwait Jail

KUWAIT CITY, 23rd Jan 2006:

He came to Kuwait with the hope of carving out a niche for himself but his dream was smashed to smithereens two days after he landed in the country. Thirty-six-year-old Narendra Sharma, who alleges that he is being detained at the Central Jail for over five months without trial, claims he is innocent and has threatened to commit suicide if the Indian Embassy fails to take steps to secure his release in the next few days. Recounting his tale to the Arab Times in a telephonic interview from the Central Jail, Sharma remarked that he was being wrongfully detained after arriving in the country on a business trip, and that his only ‘crime’ was that he procured diamonds from an unknown person who had reportedly stolen them from his sponsor.

Sharma, 36, who claims he is HIV-positive, said he ‘walked into the trap’ when the man approached him in his hotel room in downtown Kuwait City, and with the gift of the gab managed to convince him that he was badly in need of money and offered him a 40 per cent discount on the diamonds. Lured by the offer, Sharma said he accepted the same after initial hesitation and clinched the deal for KD 5,000.

Adds the Bombay based businessman, ‘The person handed over the diamonds to me and said he would return to collect the money the following day. He then approached me on the said day and asked me to return the diamonds saying his sponsor did not wish to part with them. Sensing trouble, I returned the diamonds.
‘Everything was well until the cops descended on my hotel three days later, handcuffed and led me away to a police station.’

‘Life has been a living hell ever since. I tried to end my life in the cell but policemen thwarted my bid. My birthday is fast approaching and if the embassy does not take measures to secure my release I will commit suicide on the day of my birthday.

There is no purpose left for me in my life. I have been afflicted with HIV for the last five years and have lost a whopping 35 kgs ever since the ordeal began.

‘The embassy officials visited me twice when Swashpawan Singh, former ambassador, was at the helm but since the change of guard at the embassy there has been no progress in my case,’ he lamented. Sharma pointed out that he was able to establish contact with his family back home who, he said, has expressed apprehension over his deteriorating health and has appealed to the concerned Indian authorities to look into his case on an urgent basis.

By Francis A. Clifford Cardozo – Arab Times Staff