Minor Pakistani girl who was arrested from B’luru for illegally staying returns home

PTI, Feb 22, 2023, 9:20 AM IST

Karachi: A minor Pakistani girl who went missing from her home in Hyderabad city in the southern Sindh province last September and was arrested from Bengaluru in January has returned back, her family said on Tuesday.

The girl, identified as Iqra Jeevani, entered India in September through the porous India-Nepal border. She married a 25-year-old security guard from Uttar Pradesh, whom she met through a gaming app.

The girl’s father, Sohail Jeewani, said they had already gone through a lot of pain and embarrassment and just wanted to move on.

“I don’t want her or anyone else in my family to speak on this issue. What has happened has happened. Yes I confirm she has been returned to us and we are leaving from Lahore tonight,” Sohail told PTI over phone before hanging up.

The girl’s case has garnered a lot of attention in both countries after she was recovered by the Indian authorities in January in Bengaluru.

Iqra, who is 16 years of age, left her home in Shahi Bazar in Hyderabad for her college – Federal Government Girls College – on September 19, 2022 and was found four months later in Bengaluru when police arrested a young boy she was living with.

It transpired she had developed a friendship and then relationship with the Indian man, Mulayam Singh Yadav, and apparently married him.

“She had called us from India in early January to inform us she was safe and married to this Indian man,” her uncle Afzal Jeewani said.

A senior police official said the family informed them about the call and they got in touch through required channels with the Pakistan foreign office who then contacted their Indian counterparts to help find and recover the girl.

A few days after her contact, she was arrested along with her purported husband.

Afzal claimed that the Indian man had deceived his niece by posing as a Muslim boy when the two met on social media while playing online Ludo games.

According to reports, Bengaluru police arrested Yadav, accusing him of bringing a Pakistani girl to India after befriending her.

Iqra was subsequently handed over to the Foreigners Regional Registration Office officials, who later remanded her to a state home for women.

She was handed over to the Pakistani authorities on Sunday at the Wagah border.

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