'Never thought I'd walk out free from Abu Dhabi jail'
Shiju Thomas, who was held in a Abu Dhabi prison after drugs were found in his baggage, said he never thought he "would walk out free" after being released Thursday.
Thomas, 29, who hails from here, is ecstatic after he walked out of the prison and he thought he was dreaming.
"Believe me I never ever thought I would walk out free," Thomas told IANS over phone from Abu Dhabi.
He said it was around 4.30 p.m. that he walked free from the jail in Abu Dhabi.
"Glory to God and to all those who prayed for me and also special thanks to (External Affairs Minister) Sushma Swaraj and (Kerala Chief Minister) Oommen Chandy, who made this all possible for me," said Thomas whose voice was feeble.
He at times stuttered since he is yet to come to terms with what has happened.
Thomas had come on an emergency leave here last month following the death of his father.
And after conducting the last rites of his father when he was about to leave from his home for Abu Dhabi, his friend said that someone known to him will deliver a packet to be taken to Abu Dhabi.
Thomas' brother Josh Sebastian told IANS: "Thomas did not have any doubt because it was his friend who called. But after landing in Abu Dhabi, my brother was picked up by the Customs department there as the packet contained drugs. We were shocked to hear about it."
"Soon we informed the police here who traced the person who handed the packet and the police arrested him and three others. Now all of them are in jail here and we have come to know that they are people who deal in drugs," he said.
Following the arrests, Thomas' family approached Chandy who took up the case with Sushma Swaraj.
"All the details of the arrest made here and supporting documents to this effect were handed over to Swaraj, who in turn took up the case with the Indian embassy, and my brother is now free. The release took place after Chandy met Swaraj in Delhi yesterday (Thursday)," said Sebastian.
Thomas said he has thanked Chandy "for the efforts he took with all earnestness to help me. I will never forget anything what has happened to me and the help I received".
Thomas, an aluminium fabricator, reached Abu Dhabi last year in December and now after his release, is waiting to return home.
"I am told that I have to wait for sometime before I get my passport. I wish to go back to my place, but it can happen only after I get back my passport," said Thomas.
(Posted on 25-07-2014)