A Gujarati sailor from Mandvi in Kutch, Umar Saleh Mohammad Thaim, 47, walked out free from the Minab jail in Iran on Monday after four years of struggle.

Apart from his family and employer, it was an impromptu act of generosity by 250-odd sailors, most of them strangers to Thaim, which finally secured his freedom from incarceration in a foreign land.

The sailors, rich and poor, pledged Rs 500-Rs 20,000 to add up to Rs 11.50 lakh, which formed a major component of the Rs 46.50 lakh fine imposed on Thaim as a condition for his release. His family of five brothers pooled in Rs 15 lakh while his employer committed Rs 20 lakh.

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