Online campaign seeks release of Mumbai man

Online campaign seeks release of Mumbai man from Pakistani jail

Mumbai, July 9 (IANS) A social group on Saturday started an online petition to press for the release of Hamid N. Ansari, a Mumbaikar who is languishing in a Pakistani jail since nearly four years.

An engineer-cum-MBA, Ansari, 31, a resident of Andheri suburb, had gone to Kabul, Afghanistan for a job interview in November 2012.

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He had befriended a Pakistani girl on Facebook and later reportedly crossed over into Pakistan’s Kohat to save her from being forcibly married off to a person twice her age.

The petition started by Prasanna Chandrasekar, said that the girl shared her despair and pleaded for help to Ansari who decided to save her – as was evident from the communication they exchanged.

Accordingly, on November 12, 2012, Ansari crossed the border from Afghanistan-Pakistan border at Jalalabad to Peshawar, though all contact with him had been cut off two days earlier.

Later, it transpired that he was detained by the Pakistani authorities, was taken into custody by the Pakistan Army and was undergoing trial in a military court there.

These startling facts came to light in Jaunary this year after his mother Fauzia Ansari filed a petition, and said that he was punished for a three-year jail term on November 14, 2015.

Mumbai Congress ex-legislator Krishna Hegde said that the Peshawar High Court had urged the concerned authorities to consider including the three years Ansari had already spent in jail as an undertrial and also announced his expected release date.

The online petition says that its almost four years now but Ansari has still not been released, causing great despair to his parents, Nehal and Fauzia, who have been making great efforts for his return.

They have written to top authorities in Indian and Pakistani governments, seeking their intervention for (Hamid) Ansari’s early release.

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