What is blood money? By paying which Kerala nurse Nimisha Priya, who is imprisoned in Yemen, can be released
What is blood money? By paying which Kerala nurse Nimisha Priya, who is imprisoned in Yemen, can be released

In a significant development, preparations are underway to secure the release of Kerala nurse Nimisha Priya, who is currently imprisoned in Yemen. The Indian government has granted approval for "Blood Money" or "Diya" transfer in relation to her release. Nimisha Priya is set to be released in exchange for a negotiated amount of Blood Money.

Understanding Blood Money

Yemen's constitution declares Islam as the state religion, and its legal system is based on Islamic legal principles. According to Islamic law, victims of crimes have the right to decide how offenders should be punished. There are two main options: Qisas, which generally means "life for a life" in cases of murder, allowing the victim's family to choose death as punishment for the offender; and Diya, also known as Blood Money. Under Diya, the family of the deceased can accept compensation from the offender's family in exchange for forgiveness.

Case Background

Nimisha Priya had traveled to Yemen with her family a decade ago. There, she co-founded a hospital with Yemeni citizen Talal Abdo Mehdi. However, in 2014, her husband and daughter returned to India while she remained in Yemen due to work commitments. A dispute arose between Nimisha and Talal, during which Talal allegedly confiscated her passport after falsely claiming to be her husband when authorities questioned the matter, leading them to deny her re-entry into India.

In July 2017, Nimisha planned to retrieve her passport by administering a sedative injection to Talal, which tragically resulted in his death. Subsequently, Nimisha, with the help of an accomplice, concealed Talal's body. However, the incident was discovered shortly thereafter, leading to her arrest and subsequent sentencing to death. Her accomplice received a life sentence.

Negotiations and Resolution

The Indian embassy has initiated discussions with Yemeni authorities through appointed counsel and diplomats, including Nimisha's mother, Prema Kumari, and a member of the Action Council, Samuel Jerome. They have commenced negotiations, with the Indian embassy providing $40,000 for the initial phase of discussions. The exact amount of Blood Money required for Nimisha's release will be determined following these discussions. The Indian government continues to closely monitor the situation, underscoring its commitment to ensuring Nimisha Priya's safe return to India.

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