Indian man detained in Iraq in case against boss

Apr 21, 2017, 10:43 IST | Sailee Dhayalkar

The man's wife has filed a petition in the Bombay HC against detention of husband who has been in Iraq since he was arrested for no reason on Feb 24

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An ongoing battle of kidnapping and divorce between a Dutch woman and her Indian husband has now led to the detention of one of the husband's former employees in Iraq. The couple is Nadia Rashid and Shehzad Hemani, while the detained former employee is Imran Gulam Hussain Sopariwala, who has been in Iraq since February 24.

Sopariwala's wife Kainat Sayyed filed a petition in the Bombay high court against her husband's illegal detention on Wednesday. The high court will hear the matter on May 2.

In her 21-page petition, Kainat has said that she and Sopariwala went on a pilgrimage to holy Shia tombs in Iran and Iraq a few days after their wedding on January 9.

On February 17, they took a flight from Mumbai to the Iranian capital, Tehran. The petition further says, "On February 22, they boarded a bus to travel to Iraq and reached the Iran-Iraq border on February 24. From there, they entered the Zurbatiya border crossing in Iraq." This is where Iraqi border police detained Sopariwala without giving any reason.

No prior intimation
Speaking to mid-day Sayyed said, "There was no prior intimation in India or in Iraq. How can they pick up my husband without informing me about the reason for his arrest? I have filed the case and am awaiting court's intervention in the matter."

Two days after the arrest, Sayyed called the Indian Embassy in Baghdad and informed them about her husband's illegal detention. The embassy assured Sayyed that they would look into the matter and update her accordingly, but there was no response from them thereafter. Kainat returned to India on March 10 and pursued the matter with the Ministry of External Affairs and the CBI, but she didn't get any response even there.

Held for association?
Her petition further says, "When the influential members of the Khoja Shia community in Mumbai contacted the Shia religious authorities in Iraq, they were informed that one Shehzad Hemani has a case registered against him in the Netherlands for allegedly kidnapping his daughter. Since Sopariwala was one of Hemani's employees, he had travelled to the Netherlands at the relevant point of time."

There are no details about the 'relevant time' when Sopariwala allegedly travelled to the Netherlands. However, the Indian embassy in Iraq has e-mailed Sayyed saying that they have requested Iraqi authorities to release Sopariwala, but they are yet to receive a response from them.

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