Dubai: Notorious arson killer Paul George Nadar’s long wait for freedom is finally over. On Wednesday Dubai government issued orders to release the 66-year-old Indian who has been in jail for 27 years — the longest prison term ever served in the country’s history.
Nadar was 39 when he committed the grisly murder of nine members of a Pakistani family on October 10, 1985.
Talking to XPRESS by phone from Dubai Central Jail, Nadar said the Attorney General broke the good news to him at 11.30am on Wednesday. “I was taken to his chamber and couldn’t believe my ears when I heard him telling me that I could walk free. He further told me that I have been pardoned and that I should now forget my past and start afresh.”
Nadar’s daughter Sumitra who was just 10 when her father was sentenced said: “Our prayers have been finally heard. Now I have a daughter who is 10 years old,” said Sumitra.
However, the news could not be independently confirmed by the Indian Embassy.
Nadar was dubbed as the “arson killer” after his arrest on charges of manslaughter. Driven by maddening rage and the heady liquor he had consumed, he emptied a can of paint thinner on a dilapidated shanty in Frij Al Murar and set it ablaze while a Pakistani family slept inside. Two women and their seven children, aged between two and 14, died in the inferno.
Nadar was sentenced to death in 1986. He obtained a ‘Tanseel’ (letter of pardon) from the victims’ family in 1996 after his family paid them Dh65,000 in blood money. But the spectre of death kept hanging over his head as he languished in the ‘black cell’ awaiting the final order from the Ruler. Several petitions of mercy citing old age and ill health went unheeded. But with royal pardon, Nadar can now walk free within a few days.
“It will take two to three days before the release order is sent to the Central Prison authorities. Once the deportation process is done, he can go home,” said Nadar’s son Subbarajan.
“I am desperately waiting to hear from my father. He spoke to my sister in the afternoon and I cannot wait to hear his voice. He has patiently endured the ordeal for almost three decades,” Subbarajan said. Nadar’s wife James Mary, who lives in Nagarkoil in Tamil Nadu, India, couldn’t hold back her tears when she heard that her husband will soon come home.
“She did not say a word. She kept crying over the phone and said she will wait for him,” said Sumitra.
In a telephonic conversation with this journalist last month, Nadar had said that he would rather die than spend any more of his life behind bars.
“I don’t know for how long I will live. I underwent bypass surgery in 2010 and my health is deteriorating. What I did was horrid. But I have suffered enough and there is not even a day that I don’t shed tears regretting the lives that I destroyed. Don’t I deserve mercy now after serving 27 years of my life inside jail? At least let me die. I don’t want to live in hell anymore.”
He had a word of advice for those who resort to alcohol and crime.
“I know there are many men, especially labourers, who get addicted to alcohol. I keep telling all young men who are in jail for crimes connected with alcohol that it is a poison that can destroy their lives. Look at my life that got snuffed out because of my drinking habits. These young men should remember that they came here [to the UAE] to earn a living and not to drink,” Nadar said.