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Two Pakistani sisters and their daughter released by Indian authorities

09 April, 2017

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AMRITSAR: Two Pakistani sisters and a 10-year-old daughter of one of them were released by Indian authorities on Saturday after completing their 10-year jail term in Amritsar for drug trafficking, as a non-government organisation (NGO) paid the Rs400,000 fine imposed by a court.

According to local and Indian media reports, Mumtaz and her younger sister Fatima were travelling to Uttar Pradesh to meet their relatives along with their mother when they were arrested by Attari police at the railway station for carrying drugs. Although the family denied its association with the seized drugs, it could not prove its innocence before the court that awarded them 10-year imprisonment and Rs400,000 fine. The mother died a few days after the court orders.

“Fatima, who was pregnant, delivered the baby girl in jail and named her Hena,” said the India Times news website.

“The two women completed their jail term in November 2016 but continued to be behind bars as they were unable to pay Rs400,000 as fine. Their release was made possible after the intervention of Batala-based NGO ‘Sarbat Da Bhala’ which offered to pay the fine on their behalf.”

The 10-year-old Hena, it said, would be soon in her home in Pakistan, a homeland which she had never seen.

The women and the girl were now waiting for their travel documents to return to their native town of Gujranwala.

“Both of them are very happy with their... release and have expressed gratitude towards everyone pursuing their case and have also urged the Pakistan government and NGOs to come forward to help Indians lodged in Pakistani jails,” the website quoted Advocate Navjot Kaur Chhaba, from the Society for Women Empowerment and Green Cause, who appeared for them, as saying.

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