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Haneef’s wife seeks govt help

Haneef's wife seeks intervention of the Ministry of External Affairs for the release of her husband, reports BR Srikanth.
Hindustan Times | By BR Srikanth
UPDATED ON JUL 17, 2007 03:11 AM IST

As chances of terror accused Dr Mohammed Haneef walking out a free man diminished, his wife Arshiya Firdous on Monday sought the intervention of the Ministry of External Affairs. Her cousin will leave for Australia soon to plead for his release with authorities there.

After the Brisbane-based doctor was charged with supporting terrorism on Saturday, Monday morning had brought hope to his 26-year-old wife as a court had granted him bail.

But that joy was to be short-lived as in less than three hours, the Australian government cancelled Haneef’s visa and sent him to an immigration detention centre in Sydney.

Firdous stepped out of her father's house in Bangalore for a few minutes to talk to mediapersons about the injustice done to her husband.

"It is shocking… what the Australian government has done is completely unfair. They are harassing my husband. The whole world knows he is innocent," she said.

She pleaded for the External Affairs Minister (Pranab Mukherjee) to step in and secure Haneef's release, reiterating that "the charge is baseless" and an "Indian citizen who is being harassed" should be helped.

Firdous also spoke of her "cousin brother," somebody "knowledgeable," going to Australia to help Haneef but declined to give details.

She said she could not travel herself because of her three-week-old daughter Haniya. She also said she had not been able to get through to either Haneef or his lawyer in Australia.

Haneef’s brother Shoaib and the other members of his family were incommunicado. Firdaus had on Saturday knocked on the doors of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to secure the release of her husband. "I appeal to the prime minister and defence minister to please, please help me out," Firdous had pleaded.

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