Irinjalakkuda: “I saw seven of my prison mates with a death sentence taken for execution. The Pakistani who was confined to a single cell was executed earlier this month. I had actually come to terms with my impending death,” Becks Krishnan recalls sitting in the midst of his home in Irinjalakuda.
He felt surreal. Escaping the jaws of death and the chance to see his family again was a miracle.
The 45-year-old Keralite recently freed from death row in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after NRI businessman M A Yusuffali paid "blood money" arrived here on Wednesday and said his release was a "second life" for him.
Becks had killed a young Sudanese boy in a road accident in 2012. When the child’s parents complained, the Abu Dhabi police filed a case of manslaughter. He was sentenced to death by the UAE Supreme court in 2013.
It was mainly thanks to the Lulu founder’s influence in Saudi Arabia that made his release possible, not to mention the endless meetings the billionaire businessman had with the parents of the child that eventually paved the way for his release. The lower court had given 15 years imprisonment and the Supreme court had turned it into a death sentence.
“For 7 years I worked in the jail as an office assistant. None of the superiors thought I was capable of killing a child. But since it was a supreme court ruling, they couldn’t do anything. It was Yousuf Ali Sir who offered me this second birth. I will forever be indebted to him and will always pray for the wellbeing of his family,” confides Becks.
Family welcomes Becks
The Thrissur resident arrived at the international airport here early on Wednesday morning from Abu Dhabi. His wife Veena and son Advaith, along with other relatives and friends, received him at the airport.
"I was relieved when I heard that Yusuffali had intervened...This is my second life. I am thankful to Yusuffali. He was holding discussions with the victim's family for many months," Krishnan told the media.
Difficult to convince victim's family: Yusuffali
Meanwhile, Yusuffali in a statement, said he had deposited 5,00,000 Dirhams in January at the Abu Dhabi court after convincing the Sudani boy's family to pardon Krishnan.
"We had to convince both the parents and the negotiations went on for several months. It was difficult initially because the boy's mother wanted the law to take its own course. Convincing them to pardon Krishnan was the difficult part," he said in a statement.
Ever since the accident, his family and friends had been trying hard for Krishnan's release without any success, especially as the victim's family had already gone back and settled in Sudan, putting an end to any discussion or pardon.
The Krishnan family then approached Yusuffali, chairman of the Lulu Group, who went about getting the details of the case and got in touch with all stakeholders.
Despite repeated talks with the boy's family, they were not prepared to forgive him. It took Yusuffali six years to finally placate them. Ultimately in January 2021, the victim's family in Sudan agreed to pardon Krishnan.
Subsequently, Yusuffali paid 5,00,000 Dirhams (Rs one crore approximately) as compensation in the court to secure the man's release.
Yusuffali who had met with a helicopter accident was recouping at home in Abu Dhabi after surgery. "We had several talks with the boy's father. They wondered if money could bring him back. But when we convinced him about Becks family, they eventually agreed. After the accident, we relocated them to Abu Dhabi from Sudani. Maybe it was their prayers that saved me from that helicopter accident too," he said.
Yusuffali has also promised a job for the Thrissur based Becks - "Let him spend time with his family. We will offer him a job in one of the Gulf countries," the Lulu Group founder said.
Abu Dhabi-based Lulu Group that owns Lulu Hypermarkets and shopping malls, is one of the top retailers in the Middle East and North African region (MENA).