An almost five-year ordeal for a young Pakistani woman who visited India illegally to be married to her Indian lover came to an end when Pakistan finally acknowledged her as a citizen and began her journey back home.
Sameera Abdul Rehman, 28, was detained in Bengaluru in May 2017 and became a mother in prison five months later. She has been waiting for paperwork to return to Pakistan since September 2021, when she was released from prison after being accused of unlawful immigration and forgery.
In May 2017, police arrested Sameera alias Najma, her now estranged husband Muhammed Shihab a Kerala native who she met in Doha, Qatar and the Pakistani couple after receiving an anonymous tip that Shihab was trying to arrange fake Indian citizenship papers, including an Aadhaar card, for Sameera alias Najma and the Pakistani couple.
Kasiff and his wife Kiran, both 30 years old, were deported to Pakistan in 2018 after admitting to a court that they (together with Sameera) entered India via an unlawful path due to protests from their Pakistani family. Sameera, on the other hand, remained in India owing to concerns about the citizenship of the kid she had with Shihab, according to police sources.
“The case has come to an end.” Two courts had ruled her guilty. She finished her imprisonment in July 2021 and paid a fine of Rs 1 lakh. Sameera has been transported to a detention centre pending deportation, according to her lawyer in Bengaluru, Sahana BP, and the Pakistan High Commission has confirmed her nationality. BP stated, “She can be returned if the MEA will give clearance,” BP added.
On May 24, 2017, Bengaluru police filed a complaint against Sameera, Shihab, and the Pakistani couple, alleging the Foreigners Acts of 1939 and 1946, the Passport Act of 1967, as well as forgery-related sections of the Indian Penal Code. The attempted acquisition of an Aadhaar card with fraudulent documents was reported to the police by UIDAI officials.
Trials in the charges against Shihab, government officials, and others are still proceeding, and only Pakistanis have been deported. According to Sameera’s lawyer, Sahana, Shihab and Sameera are no longer in contact.
Sahana Says “A kid of an illegal immigrant and an Indian national will not be eligible for citizenship under Section 3 of the Citizenship Act,”
Even after she was discharged, Sameera’s deportation was delayed. A BBC Urdu report about Sameera’s situation eventually drew Pakistani officials’ attention, permitting her to return home.
“We’re on the final straight.” “She’s already been through a lot,” advocate Sahana added, wishing Sameera a speedy return to Pakistan.