Emotional reunion between Nimisha Priya and mother in Yemen prison after over 11 years

Nimisha has been convicted of murdering Talal Abdo Mahdi in 2017, after she injected him with sedatives in order to get back her passport from his possession.

BySouth First Desk

Published Apr 25, 2024 | 5:19 PMUpdatedApr 25, 2024 | 7:15 PM

Nimisha Priya. (Sourced)

It was an emotional reunion between Nimisha Priya, who is on death row in Yemen for killing a Yemeni national, and her mother who met her daughter in a Yemeni prison on 24 April after over 11 years.

After meeting her daughter and spending a few hours with her in prison, the mother, Prema Kumari, in a video message said she was not sure she would be able to see Priya.

“However, my fears were misplaced. I got to meet her. The moment she saw me, she came running to me, calling me mummy and hugged me. We both cried,” Kumari said.

Kumari has been working as a domestic help for over six years in Kizhakkambalam in the Ernakulam district in Kerala. Priya and Kumari are natives of Kollengode in Palakkad.

Also read: HC asks govt if it’s willing to permit Nimisha Priya’s mother to travel

Tearful reunion

She said that Priya told her not to cry and to be happy and that everything would work out fine.

“Then she too started crying. We hugged each other and cried. I was seeing her after so many years. The last time I saw her was when I married her off,” Kumari said.

She said the two of them spent a few hours together in the prison and had food together.

“There are women of all ages in the prison, and for them, Nimisha is an essential part of their lives. They all came and hugged and kissed me,” she said.

Kumari said thanks to God’s mercy and the kindness of the Yemeni government, her daughter was fine.

Her visit to the Arab nation was facilitated by the Save Nimisha Priya International Council.

Negotiating blood money

Kumari was allowed to go to Yemen by the Delhi High Court in December last year to negotiate about blood money with the victim’s family and save her daughter from the gallows.

Blood money refers to the compensation paid by offenders or their kin to the family of a murder victim.

The permission came on a plea moved by her in the High Court for being allowed to go to the West Asian country.

Yemen’s Supreme Court had on 13 November last year dismissed the appeal of Nimisha Priya, who was working as a nurse in the west Asian country, against her death sentence.

The Supreme Court in Yemen had reportedly also given her a last option of escaping the gallows by securing a pardon from the victim’s family after paying blood money.

Also Read: Show proof for Yemen court giving blood money option to save Nimisha from gallows: Delhi HC

Diplomatic difficulties

The counsel appearing for the Centre had contended previously that India does not have diplomatic ties with Yemen and it has closed down its embassy there.

He said it would not be desirable for the mother to visit the foreign nation currently riven by strife and added that earlier the situation in the Middle East region was peaceful but not now.

The petitioner’s lawyer had said a letter informing the family about the Supreme Court of Yemen dismissing Priya’s appeal was received on 1 December 2023 and her execution could take place anytime.

The lawyer had said the petitioner was not asking the government to pay blood money and was only seeking permission to travel to Yemen.

Case against Nimisha

Nimisha has been convicted of murdering Talal Abdo Mahdi, who died in July 2017, after she injected him with sedatives in order to get back her passport from his possession.

It was alleged that Priya administered him sedatives so she could take back her passport while he was unconscious but he died of an overdose.

The Save Nimisha Priya International Action Council approached the high court last year and sought direction to the Centre to “facilitate diplomatic interventions as well as negotiations with the family of the victim on behalf of Nimisha Priya to save her life by paying blood money in accordance with the law of the land in a time-bound manner”.

The petition alleged Mahdi had forged documents to show he and Priya were married and abused and tortured her.

The high court had last month asked the Centre to take a decision within a week on the woman’s request to travel to Yemen.

The high court had earlier refused to direct the Centre to negotiate payment of blood money to save Priya’s life but asked it to pursue legal remedies against her conviction.

(With PTI inputs)