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Haneef's wife appeals to Indian government to intervene

Haneef is a distant cousin of Sabeel Ahmed and his elder brother Kafeel Ahmed, who is also suspected of involvement in the terror plots.
IANS | By HT Correspondent, Bangalore
UPDATED ON JUL 16, 2007 02:05 PM IST

Firdous Arshiya, wife of Bangalore doctor Mohamed Haneef who is now detained in Brisbane after the Australian authorities cancelled his visa, appealed to the Indian government on Monday to step in to "end the harassment" of her husband.

"Australian authorities have taken it personally. That is the reason for their decision to cancel my husband's visa soon after he got bail," an upset but composed Firdous told IANS.

"An innocent Indian citizen is being harassed even when there is no evidence against him and I appeal to Indian authorities to help end this," said Firdous, a software engineer.

Her appeal came following the Australian government's decision to invoke immigration laws to detain her husband, shortly after he was granted conditional bail by a Brisbane magistrate.

Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews was quoted by Australian media as saying he was invoking his powers under the Migration Act to revoke Haneef's visa because he had failed the "character test".

The revoking of visa means 27-year-old Haneef will remain in detention as legal proceedings continue.

"They are simply trying to detain him even though they know there is nothing against him," Firdous said.

"There is no reason for the Australian authorities to detain my husband. They have taken it personally," she asserted.

"All kinds of investigations have been carried out for the last 15 days and they have not found any evidence against him but still want to detain him," said Firdous. She gave birth to their first baby, a girl, on June 26.

"Won't some clue be left behind by people (behind the terror attacks)? Have they found any? Why then are they holding him," she asked.

Firdous said: "An Indian citizen is being harassed and I appeal to Indian authorities to step in to end this."

She said she has not been able to talk to Haneef, though she could talk to his lawyer Peter Russo.

That was before the news of Haneef's visa being revoked came and hence she was not in a position to say whether Russo would challenge the latest move to detain her husband.

Firdous said she had not yet fixed any date for travelling either to Australia or Delhi to seek Haneef's release.

On the day Haneef was charged Firdous had said she never expected "such a stupid thing" from the Australian police.

"Yes. They want to just hold him back. That is why they are doing this," she said referring to the charge that Haneef's action of giving his SIM card to his cousin Sabeel Ahmed, another suspect in the plot, was "reckless" and not "intentional".

Haneef is a distant cousin of Sabeel Ahmed and his elder brother Kafeel Ahmed, who is also suspected of involvement in the terror plots. Haneef was working with Sabeel in Liverpool when he decided to move to Gold Coast Hospital in Brisbane. Haneef left behind his mobile SIM card with Sabeel as it had some talk time still left.

Sabeel was picked up by Liverpool police a day after a blazing jeep was driven into Glasgow airport terminal on June 30. The driver of the jeep is believed to be Kafeel.

Haneef was detained at Brisbane on July 2 when he was about to leave for India on a one-way ticket to see his new-born baby.

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