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Friday, Aug 16, 2019

‘Messiah of poor’: Jamshedpur families recall Sushma Swaraj

Two families in Jharkhand’s Jamshedpur remember former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and how she helped bring back their kin from Saudi Arabia.

ranchi Updated: Aug 08, 2019 15:07 IST
Debashish Sarkar
Debashish Sarkar
Hindustan Times, Jamshedpur
Sheikh Sameeruddin shows the letter from external affairs ministry that helped in bringing back his son back  from Saudi Arabia.
Sheikh Sameeruddin shows the letter from external affairs ministry that helped in bringing back his son back from Saudi Arabia. (Manoj Kumar / HT Photo )
         

The sudden demise of BJP leader and former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj has come as a shock to at least two families in Jamshedpur who were reunited with their sons after her intervention.

“For us, the messiah of poor has gone with the sad demise of Sushma Swaraj ji,” said Sheikh Sameeruddin, while recalling how she had intervened to bring back his son Javed Akhtar from Saudi Arabia after four years.

“My son had gone to work in a company – Saudi Huumad Arhamad Al Harbi – in Saudi Arabia in 2013. But the owners of the company seized his passport and were not allowing him to return to India. He was forced to spend four years there,” said Sameeruddin, a septuagenarian from Badia village under Mosaboni Block of East Singhbhum district.

Sameeruddin said after when Javed somehow managed to share his ordeal with them, he approached the then external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj through Jamshedpur MP Bidyut Baran Mahato. “In a letter to me, Sushma ji assured us that Javed would return at any cost. She then contacted the Saudi government and got Javed released and brought him back to us,” recalls Sameeruddin, adding that his family would be indebted to Sushma forever.

Javed now works as a car driver in Patna. In a WhatsApp message from Patna, he said, “I still shudder to think what would have been my fate if there was no messiah like Sushma Swaraj.”

For Md Samir Khan, a resident of Kitadih Masjid Road under Parsuidh police station (PS) here, Sushma Swaraj was God’s intervention.

“Samir was in jail after Saudi police picked him up on suspicion. I had taken up the matter with Sushma ji and taking note of the seriousness of the case, she immediately contacted Saudi authorities and secured Samir’s release from Riyadh jail and his safe return back home,” recalled Jamshedpur MP Bidyut Baran Mahato.

Mahato said Swaraj would also be remembered for extension of passport offices to smaller cities like Jamshedpur. “It was her initiative that Jamshedpur post office got a passport office, ending the problem of people of the city of running to regional passport office in Ranchi for passports. She was like my elder sister who guided me politics, organisation and how to better serve people,” the MP said.

First Published: Aug 08, 2019 15:07 IST

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