Mumbai: Man stuck in Dutch couple's divorce battle finally walks free
Imran Sopariwala was detained in February on Dutch national Nadia Rashid's allegation that he and her husband Shehzad Hemani had together kidnapped her daughter
It was a honeymoon-cum-pilgrimage for newly-weds Imran Gulam Hussain Sopariwala and wife Kainat this February, which quickly turned into a nightmare, coming to an end only now, after nine long months. The couple was stopped at the Iraq border and Imran taken into custody in an ongoing battle of kidnapping and divorce between Nadia Rashid, a Dutch national, and Shehzad Hemani, MD of Conros Steels and a resident of Bandra. Recently, the Iraq court released him and he returned home on Tuesday.
Imran Sopariwala at his home in Byculla on Thursday. Pic/Bipin Kokate
Incarcerated in Baghdad
Imran, who was working in Hemani's company as the manager till October last year, had been accused by Rashid of being involved in her daughter's kidnapping along with Hemani. Speaking to mid-day, Imran said, "My wife and I first went to Iran on February 17; from there, we went to Iraq on February 24. There, at the border, they detained me without giving us any reason. After two days, I was presented before a court and, then, taken to a prison in Baghdad. "I was in jail for eight months, after which, they presented me back in court, which told them to send me back to India." Imran also said there had been an Interpol order and an allegation against him, which stated that he had kidnapped the girl. "I called for the documents from India and showed the court that I was in Germany, and after that in Dubai, during the alleged kidnapping," he added.
The other battle
After Imran's detention, Kainat's journey wasn't easy either. "I visited the embassy there but couldn't do much. My in-laws then visited the embassy in India and tried to find a solution to get Imran back. In the meanwhile, I returned home. I too went to the embassy here a few times; I also filed a petition in the Bombay High Court through advocate Shehzad Naqvi. But that didn't help either, as the last order by the HC was to let the Iraq court decide," she said. "These nine months were excruciating; I had lost all hope of Imran returning, but I kept trying whatever I could. Now, I am afraid to plan a holiday outside the country after this experience." The Central Criminal Court in Baghdad, on October 16, ordered, "The court has decided to reject the request for extradition of Sopariwala and release him..."
8 Number of months Imran Sopariwala was in jail in Iraq
Catch up on all the latest Mumbai news, current affairs from Mumbai, local news, crime news and breaking headlines here
Will Mumbai finally be defecation free?