After 30 months of being tied up in red tape, a 30-year-old man has finally been released from jail.

"It's been five days since I was released and I still cannot believe I am a free man," said Kaju Ram Kumawat, an Indian. His release was made possible by a good Samaritan who paid his diya (blood money.)

"Last Tuesday [March 8], I was summoned by a jail official and taken to a hall. I had no idea why.

"I was then told someone had paid my diya and I was free to go those were the sweetest words I had ever heard in my life. I wanted to meet the individual who gave me back my happiness. But, unfortunately, I was not told who he or she was. I will be indebted to this good Samaritan my entire life," he said.

Dubai jail authorities told Gulf News that Kumawat's benefactor wished to remain anonymous.

"I was very depressed when I learnt some inmates had been released as their diya had been paid by a UAE national. My name was not on that list. I cried a lot that day in my cell. Images of my home, children, wife and parents flashed though my mind," he said.

Kumawat was convicted for drunk driving and for jumping a red light near Al Quoz.

He also caused the death of his female passenger, a 47-year-old Sri Lankan, and was sentenced in June 2002 to four months in jail and ordered to pay Dh150,000 diya to the victim's family.

His case was then taken up by the Indian Consulate, which got in touch with the victim's family to negotiate the diya.

It emerged that the woman who died in the accident had been travelling on a false passport.

Any further negotiations would only be possible if the Sri Lankan authorities provided details regarding the identity mix-up.

Kumawat's case was also unwittingly hindered by his family, who sent letters of appeal on his behalf to the Indian Prime Minister, the ministries of foreign affairs in India and Sri Lanka and to the President of Sri Lanka.

"While in jail, I constantly kept in touch with the Indian Community Welfare Committee. I was informed my case had been further complicated by letters of appeal being sent to the top ministries.

"All these things do not matter anymore," he said, "and I am looking forward to seeing my family."


September 2004: A convicted Kaju Ram Kumawat is in jail, unable to pay Dh150,000 in blood money to his victim's family because the victim was travelling under a false identity. Several attempts to negotiate a blood-money settlement with the Sri Lankan woman's family fail as it emerges that she was using her younger sister's passport. "This accident happened because of my negligence and I am full of remorse ... I wonder if I'll ever get out of here," laments Kumawat.

November 2004: Red tape and sluggish diplomacy keep Kumawat detained in prison. The man feels that petitioning for an early release from jail could have hindered his case. At this stage, it looks like Kumawat cannot be freed unless he has paid blood money to the Sri Lankan woman's next of kin and this seems impossible because the authorities have not received confirmation of the victim's true identity.

March 2005: The deadlock is finally broken when a good Samaritan pays Kumawat's blood money and the Indian is released from jail. A tearful Kumawat says he will remain indebted to his anonymous benefactor for the rest of his life.