IN A unique case, a 45-year-old woman from Haryana’s Mahendergarh district has filed a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking “repatriation and rescue” of her husband from Kuwait, who she says is untraceable since last year. However, the Centre, on Tuesday, told the court that the woman’s husband had not responded to any of the communications from the Indian embassy and had converted to Islam there.
Saroj Devi, in a civil writ petition, alleged that the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had shown an “insensitive attitude” in the case. She said her husband Suresh Kumar had been working in Arabian countries for the past 16 years but since December last year, there has been no contact with him and she apprehends danger to his life there.
“I have not been able to talk to him for several months and no one has been serious in bringing him back. I do not know where he is,” Saroj told The Indian Express. “His parents died waiting for him and his absence has put us in misery.” Suresh’s family had earlier also written to the Prime Minister, the external affairs ministry, Haryana Chief Minister and women’s commission, Haryana, for bringing him back to India and had also called the numbers of the persons who were working there with him. The Indian Embassy in Kuwait in May had told the family that the Embassy cannot force him to return and he had extended his residency visa for one year: till April 2018.
“I apprehend that either the company in which my husband was working (as a driver) either they have killed him or he has been kept in illegal confinement,” Saroj had written to the Prime Minister in a letter dated February 22, 2017.
Appearing before the single bench of Justice Rajan Gupta Tuesday, Additional Solicitor General of India Satya Pal Jain told the High Court that Suresh had embraced Islam in Kuwait and had changed his name to Abdul Gafoor. “He is working as a truck driver in Kuwait and in spite of repeated requests, he has not reported to the Indian Embassy to Kuwait,” said Jain, who has been asked by the HC bench to file a detailed affidavit on the next date of hearing.