Two Pakistani sisters, who were lodged in the Amritsar jail even after completing 10-year imprisonment in a drug case, will be finally able to return home.
A Batala-based non-government organisation, ‘Sarbat Da Bhala Humanity Club’, has come forward to pay Rs 4-lakh fine imposed on them by court during their conviction in 2006.
Fatima Bibi was pregnant when she and her younger sister Mumtaj were arrested from the Samjhauta Express on May 8, 2006, at the Attari railway station for carrying drugs. Fatima gave birth to a girl in jail. Now 10 years old, Hena will also be able to see her homeland for the first time.
Completed term last November
Although the two sisters completed their jail term in November last year, the sessions court extended it by two years for their failure to pay the fine. Fatima refused to send Hena back to Pakistan alone despite the court’s intervention.
Now, the Batala NGO led by Navtej Singh Gaggu has given a ray of hope to the sisters and young Hena.
“We decided to pay the fine for the sake of the girl child. At this age, she needs to study, but she is in jail,” said Gaggu, adding, “We will go to the jail on Thursday to pay the fine.”
“We will also send a written message through the sisters to the Pakistan government to urge them to spread love and peace between the two countries,” he said.
“We made several efforts to approach the sisters’ kin in Pakistan to make them pay the fine. As they expressed helplessness, we reached out to the NGO,” said advocate Navjot Kaur Chabba, who is handling the sisters’ case.
Once the fine is paid, the two sisters will be released as per law, she said.
Fatima of Gujranwala, along with her sister who is unmarried and a resident of Sikandrabad, was on her way to Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh to meet her maternal uncles when they were arrested. Fatima had argued in the court that the 400-gram smack seized from their train compartment belonged to a fellow traveller.