Widow begging alms to get back citizenship for estranged son

The 76-year-old widow is left with the only desire to meet her son,who resurfaced after about 28 years ago,but is now in Pakistan by a quirk of fate.

Written by RAGHAV OHRI | Chandigarh | Published: February 11, 2009 3:50:50 pm

Life can’t get more cruel for Amina Bai. The 76 year old widow and resident of Kutch,Gujarat,is now left with the only desire to meet her son,who resurfaced after about 28 years ago,but is now in Pakistan by a quirk of fate.

According to her,a famine had taken place in Kutch nearly 28 years back and her 21 year old son had accidently crossed into Pakistan from the Gujarat border. No one had heard from him since then. Then,dramatically,he surfaced in Amritsar last year after crossing the border from Wagah as Ahmed to give his mother a surprise.

However,he was declared a Pakistani national by the Amritsar Police and put behind bars alongwith his wife Seema.

Ahmed was able to contact her over phone and told her his plight. She came to Chandigarh and with the help of human right lawyer Ranjan Lakhanpal filed a petition in the High Court which,subsequently,ordered their release last month.

However,her success in getting her son and daughter-in-law released from illegal police custody of Punjab Police proved ephemeral. They were deported back to Pakistan.

The helpless mother,who has nobody to look after her except few villagers,is left with no other option than to approach the High Court again to get back her son and daughter in law. “Zindagi pahar banke reh gayi hai,pehle paise jama kiye the larke ko bahar nikalne ke liye,ab dubara bheekha maangni paregi usko ghar lane ke liye (Life has become a gruesome journey for me. Earlier I had collected money from villagers to get my son released,now I will have to beg and collect money for getting him back to India)” appeals piteously Amina Bani with eyes brimming over with tears.

Talking to ‘The Indian Express’,the poor woman said she had to beg alms for more than ten days in order to collect money for her visit to Chandigarh. Much to this widow’s chagrin,who has no one to look after her,

Despite having four daughters (all married) and a son,a daily wager,Amina,who lost her husband seven years back has no one to look after her. Surviving on a monthly pension of Rs 300 by the government,Amina earns her living by serving as a domestic servant.

“We are now demanding directions to the Indian Embassy in Pakistan to grant visa to the couple and also grant fresh citizenship to Ahmed. It is sad that Amina Bai has to battle for getting Indian citizenship for her son,who was born in India and was an Indian citizen” said Advocate Ranjan Lakhanpal.

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