Saudi Arabia: Woman was sold by ex-husband

Saira Banu, who was repatriated to Hyderabad from Saudi Arabia on Saturday said that now she wants to focus on her career.

The Indian national was brought back to India with the help of Shalibanda police a month after she was allegedly sold to a ‘kafil’ in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia by her ex-husband and travel agent.

Banu who had a love marriage with Omar in 2014 said: “What I went through last month has opened my eyes. I was a BCom student and I had met Omar in a market where he worked as a salesman. I gave up my studies to marry him. He had studied only till Class X. After our financial condition deteriorated, he started working as an auto driver. Recently, I had also got hints that he has been cheating on me.’’

Banu said that she left for Saudi as she wanted to earn enough money to provide a decent living for the two-year-old daughter she had with Omar. “Though before I left, he tricked me into giving him khula (divorce pronounced by a Muslim wife) and said that we would remarry after three months. Now, I want to get over my past. I realise that I made a huge mistake by sacrificing my career for a man. I want to finish my studies and become self reliant,” she said.

“I was told by an agent that I was sold for Rs 5 lakh to a Saudi sheikh by her agent Hajira Bee, with the involvement of my husband,” Saira told police while she underwent rigorous questioning on her return.
While Banu was in Riyadh, Shalibanda police had booked a case against Omar and Hajira under IPC section 498A (dowry case) and section 420 (cheating), based on the complaint of Banu’s mother. “Now, going by Saira’s statement, the case will be discussed in the presence of senior police officers as we are not convinced that she wants Omar to undergo legal trial,” said police.


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