Stranded in Bahrain after divorcing Pak husband, city woman, infant reunited with family
Yashmin arrived in Bahrain somewhere around March 2020. She got married to a Pakistani national, Khalid Akram in June 2020. From their marriage, they had a girl child, born in January 2021. She faced domestic violence at home leading to her separation from her husband
Mumbai: When Etihad Airways flight EY 204 from Manama (Bahrain) to Mumbai via Abu Dhabi landed at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport on Thursday night, it ended a three-year ordeal for 29-year-old Yashmin Kiyamuddin Ansari.
She moved to Bahrain to marry a Pakistani national, got divorced within months after complaining of domestic violence and could not return to Mumbai as her 28-month-old daughter Malak had no legal birth certificate.
After months of a legal battle in Bahrain by Pravasi Legal Cell, an NGO which works with Indian diplomatic missions abroad to provide legal and humanitarian assistance to stranded Indians in foreign countries, Ansari finally boarded the Etihad Airways flight on Thursday at 10.40am. After a stopover in Abu Dhabi, it arrived in Mumbai shortly after 8pm, reuniting Ansari with her parents, a brother and five sisters who live in a Kajuwadi Chawl in Andheri’s Chakala.
“Yashmin arrived in Bahrain somewhere around March 2020. She got married to a Pakistani national, Khalid Akram in June 2020. From their marriage, they had a girl child, born in January 2021. She faced domestic violence at home leading to her separation from her husband. When the child was born, she could not get the birth certificates from the authorities as she was already going through the separation process and the mental trauma from the whole episode,” said Sudheer Thirunilath, the country head of Pravasi Legal Cell in Bahrain.
In May 2022, Thirunilath received Ansari’s official request for assistance. “Yashmin and her daughter Malak were not having proper shelter, no food, no money to pay rent etc. We took up the matter and raised it with the Indian ambassador to Bahrain, Piyush Srivastava and we also filed a case at Madad, Ministry of External Affairs’ management system which provides consular services,” he said.
Thirunilath also approached advocate Tariq Alowin and requested him to file a case in Bahrain. “This journey has been challenging, as we filed three cases after receiving the Power of Attorney through Adv Tariq. We pursued two cases for DNA testing and the issuance of a birth certificate, both of which were unfortunately rejected. Additionally, we filed a case for the amendment of the marriage date, which the Court agreed to after reviewing the details and witness testimonies. However, due to the absence of parents during the marriage and non-payment of Mehr, the Court ultimately rejected our request,” said Tirunilath.
The legal battle went on with its own ups and downs based on the merit of the case. During this period, the PLC team paid her room rent several times, arranged food rations for them, paid court fees etc. Yashmin’s former employer was asked to renew her visa, which was necessary to approach the court, and give her a job to support her daily needs.
“Given the unavailability of a birth certificate through the government authorities, we approached the Ministry of Information, presenting them with comprehensive evidence, including marriage and divorce records, hospital documentation, and court judgments. After understanding the urgency and sensitivity of the situation, they graciously agreed to assist us. With their support, along with the cooperation of health authorities, we were able to provide a certificate of delivery and birth notification,” he said.
On May 21, 2023, Thirunilath approached the Bahrain Immigration office and explained the situation to them. They agreed to help in sending the mother and her child back to India. The PLC produced a letter from the Salmaniya Hospital about the delivery. “The Immigration authorities, including Naef Al Sherooqi, Adhil Mohd Amadi, Captain Yousef Jamal, and their dedicated officers played a crucial role in resolving this matter. Over the past two days, we have been present alongside Yasmeen and her child, explaining the situation in detail, and they have meticulously documented all relevant information. They even called her ex-husband, Khalid, to Immigration and obtained his no-objection statements,” he said.
Looking at the poor financial condition, Bahrain-based Devji Group sponsored the air tickets for Etihad Airways for Yashmin and her child.
Ansari or her family was not available for comment.