The revelation of a Muslim woman from Pakistan having made an undocumented entry into India to live with her Hindu partner in Uttar Pradesh has been keeping the police and the media busy for over a week now.
The woman and her partner have already spent a few days in jail, and mediapersons are flocking to their place of residence — Rabupura village in Gautam Buddha Nagar district adjoining Delhi — in hordes.
The woman, who has come to India with four children from a previous marriage after allegedly selling off her house in Pakistan, is under scanner of the authorities for possible role as a spy.
Amid this, extremists in Pakistan are threatening violence against Hindus in the woman’s native country. If the woman is not ‘returned’ to Pakistan by India, there would be bloodshed against Hindus there, armed extremists have said in videos uploaded on social media.
Controversial ‘pir’ from Pakistan’s Sindh province, Miyan Abdul Haq alias Miyan Mithu, who is heavily involved in conversions of minority Hindus in Sindh to Islam, is among those who have issued the threat.
Here is the story of Seema Ghulam Haider, her ‘marriage’ with Sachin Meena of Rabupura nd her entry into India as gathered from various news reports (here, here and here): Seema hails from Rind Hajana village in Sindh province of Pakistan.
As per police, she left Pakistan with her four children on 11 May and reached Sachin’s home on 13 May. Before that, they had met once in Nepal and got married at the Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu. That was in March.
As per Seema, the couple came in touch with each other in 2020 during the Covid-19 lockdown. The medium was the online game PubG, and they began chatting on the chatbox.
After about four months of chatting this way, they exchanged phone numbers and began communicating via Internet — voice calls and videos. In January 2021, they formally confessed to being in love with each other.
In February this year, Seema applied for an Indian visa but was denied. The glitch in her documentation was that Sachin had not been able to obtain signature of a gazetted officer on the visa documents.
So Seema and Sachin travelled to Nepal, where they spent a week together and married in the temple. Seema went there via Sharjah in Unites Arab Emirates.
Seema sold off her house in Sindh for 12 lakh Pakistani rupees and prepared for her permanent shift to India to live with Sachin. She hired a travel agent to go to Nepal via Sharjah as she had done earlier.
From Nepal, she took a bus at Rs 2,500 per ticket to reach India via Pokhara. She used hotspot of a passenger on the bus to talk to Sachin.
In the bus, she introduced herself to the conductor as just Seema and her husband’s name as Sachin Meena. She also introduced her children with Hindu names — Raj, Priyanka, Pari and Munni.
Seema reached Kashmere Gate in Delhi, from where she took another bus with her children for the Faleda intersection in Rabupura, where Sachin came to pick her up. That was on 13 May.
The case came to the knowledge of police after Seema and Sachin approached a lawyer to seek legal help for court registration of their marriage.
The lawyer, who had seen Seema’s Pakistan passport, later called up the police. The couple learnt of the police intervention and tried to flee, but were caught in Ballabgarh.
They, along with Sachin’s father Netrapal, were booked under Section 14 of the Foreigners Act, IPC sections 120 (concealing design to commit offence punishable with imprisonment) and 34 (criminal act done by several persons in furtherance of common intention), and sections 3,4,5 of the Passport Act, 1920 at Rabupura Police Station.
They got bail within a week as charges are bailable. The couple spent five days behind bars where they were questioned by the authorities. They returned home on Sunday morning (9 July).
Police have said that Seema married Ghulam Haider, a resident of Moham-madpur Rattodero Karnkarni in Sindh in 2014. He worked as a labourer in Karachi, but went to Saudi Arabia. Police have contacted Ghulam.
The couple have told the media that they were inspired by Bollywood film Gadar to be together. The film’s core plot involves around a Sikh man and a Muslim woman who marry amid communal violence during the 1947 partition.
Out on bail, the couple are being visited by mediapersons everyday and their story splashed on news channels and newspapers.
Amid this, multiple videos have emerged from Pakistan of extremists issuing threats to local Hindus.
A group of men, allegedly Baloch dacoits, have released a video saying that if Seema is not returned to Pakistan by India, they will rape and kill Hindus living in Pakistan. The video shows the men wearing masks and holding rifles. The leader, sitting in the centre, is speaking.
A man is heard saying, “A girl from our city of Jakharani has recently gone to Delhi from Pakistan. India must understand that if Seema Haider is not sent back to Pakistan, Hindus, and people of other religions living here will not be spared.”
Another video has emerged of Miya Mithu. He said that India should return Seema otherwise it would be bad for Hindus of Pakistan. Hindus must ask the Indian government to send Seema back, he said.
If Hindus do so, their brethren in Pakistan would be safe, otherwise the “anti-social elements” (exact words used were ‘loafer’ and ‘luchcha’) would attack Hindus, Mithu said, alleging that the Indian government spends money on the welfare of only Hindus alone, and on religious structures of only Hindus.
These are among multiple threats issued to local Hindus through videos in Pakistan. As per this report, a teenager has issued similar threats with a rocket launcher and a slung rifle in a video, and others with grenades and guns.
Seema, as per news reports, has maintained that if she is sent back by the Indian government to Pakistan, she would be killed. She has appealed to be sent to jail instead of Pakistan.
Notably, several prominent non-Muslim Indian women from India have married Pakistani men in the past. These include actress Reena Roy who married cricketer Mohsin Khan (the couple have divorced) and journalist Tavleen Singh and politician Salman Taseer, who was already married then.
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