KOZHIKODE: In a joint mission, the Social Justice Department will seek the support of the External Affairs Ministry (MEA) in tracking and helping the Keralites trapped in jails/under house arrest in foreign countries. Social Justice Minister M K Muneer told ‘Express’ on Monday that he would meet External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj during his visit to New Delhi on February 24 and 25.
“It is very sad that our embassies are weak and ineffective. Our first mission will be to request the External Affairs Ministry to write to the embassies to submit the detailed reports of the Indians trapped in foreign jails and placed under house arrest. We heard that many are stuck in foreign countries, especially in the GCC states, even after completing their jail sentence,” the minister said. “The embassies will be streamlined in such a way that soon after an Indian is arrested, an alert will be sent to them as well as the External Affairs Ministry. We have also informed the Non-resident Keralites Affairs Department (NORKA) about the mission. If the MEA approves the project, we are ready to impart the services of Social Justice Department Director V N Jithendran, for the same,” Muneer added.
Express had reported that NORKA did not have records of the Malayalis jailed in various countries. Muneer was reacting after his efforts to bring partially paralysed Nabeesa Beevi from Maldives. Nabeesa will reach her homeland, Thiruvananthapuram, on Tuesday (February 10). She will be accompanied by executive member of India Club, Maldives,
Mushtaq. The minister added that during his meeting with Sushma Swaraj, the plight of Varkala resident Rubeena, currently in Dhoonidhoo Detention Centre, Maldives, would also be taken up. Rubeena was held on charges of murdering her 10-month-old baby Ahmed Saib Hassan and attempting suicide. She was held without trial for more than four years and finally, when the trial was conducted, it was in Dhivehi, the official language of Maldives. She was also denied the assistance of a lawyer, citing legal reasons. Later, Maldivian advocate Fareesha Abdulla, who happened to hear the plight of Rubeena through an NGO, stepped in to help her and demanded an additional hearing.
Though an additional hearing was scheduled for December 2, 2014, it was postponed to a later date, since the prosecution failed to produce medical witness. Through the intervention of the Indian High Commission and with the support of India Club, Maldives, Rubeena’s mother Shafeeqa Beevi will fly to Maldives on Tuesday evening. The IHC has requested the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maldives, to let Shafeeqa visit her daughter on February 12.