A Pakistani national, who was set free by an NIA court in Kochi, has been languishing in a Kerala prison for several months due to “lack of assistance” from his country’s High Commission in India, a senior Congress MLA said on Wednesday. PT Thomas, also a former Lok Sabha MP, said he met Pakistani national Abdul Qadir on Tuesday when he visited the Ernakulam district jail at Kakkanad as a local MLA to inspect the basic facilities provided for jail officers and inmates.
He said Qadir (53) was part of 11 crew members of the Iranian vessel ‘Barooki’, which was intercepted off the Kerala coast in July last year. No offences were found against the crew members, comprising 10 Iranian nationals and Qadir, the lone Pakistani citizen, by the NIA Court in March this year.
Following the court order, the Foreigner Regional Registration Office initiated procedures for deportation.
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“I met Qadir who has been lodged in the jail. While his colleagues from Iran left for their country after they received assistance from their embassy in New Delhi, Qadir is still lodged in the jail here due to lack of assistance from the Pakistani High Commission,” Thomas told PTI here.
He hoped that the Pakistani High Commission would intervene and coordinate with Indian authorities to facilitate deportation of their national languishing in the jail.
Thomas said Qadir has provided two addresses to the jail authorities. “According to one document, he belongs to Jeevani Village, Bstivan, Baluchistan.”
“Another one says Qadir belongs to Jan Mohammed Kaloi Village under Dalel police station limit in Sanghar district of Sindh province,” the MLA said. Thomas said Qadir is the sole bread winner for his family comprising wife Sareena, ailing mother Bechel and sister Sobha. He has no children. The court had released them after NIA, which conducted a probe into the case, had stated that the crew had no links either with any terror outfit or international drug mafia.
The Iranian dhow “Barooki” was intercepted by the Coast Guard and state police following intelligence inputs in July last year off the coast of Alappuzha and brought to Vizhinjam. The crew members were detained by the CG and police which recovered a satellite communication set and a Pakistani identity card from the vessel.
The case was later handed over to the NIA and a team of the agency and scientists of Geological Survey of India had conducted a mission onboard a research vessel ‘RV Samudra Ratnakar’ off Kerala coast to recover objects allegedly dropped in the deep sea from the dhow.