Will Seema Haider, who crossed over from Pak to meet her lover, be allowed to stay back longer?

Multiple agencies are investigating if she has any suspicious links in Pakistan


Pakistani national Seema Haider’s illegal entry into India might have sparked several allegations of her being an agent of Pakistan spy agency ISI, but prima facie, the police found it to be a case of a love affair that landed her in jail.

Seema is currently on bail, and multiple agencies are still investigating if she has any suspicious links in Pakistan as they have recovered a semi-filled Pakistani passport and identity cards, besides five passports belonging to her and her four children along with two mobile phones and video cassettes.

As per law, any illegal entrant into the country can be deported at once, but Seema, who might face a possible threat to her life, may not be deported to Pakistan immediately. What is significant is that keeping in mind that Seema faces a possible danger if she were to return to her city Sindh in Pakistan, it is not being ruled out that she could be granted a limited extension of her stay in India on humanitarian grounds. A diplomatic call will be taken in the matter soon.

More importantly, the investigation is yet to be completed, which is another reason the intelligence agencies may like to question her and probe the matter fully before coming to any conclusion.

An intelligence official said Pakistan's ISI would not use such an open ploy of sending a spy with four children, and Seema’s case would have been exposed given the fact that Indian Intelligence Bureau is keeping a hawk’s eye on such activities.

Prashant Kumar, additional director general of police in Uttar Pradesh, told THE WEEK that prima facie, the case seems to be a love affair. “Prima facie it does not appear that Seema was a Pakistani spy, but the investigation is still going on and multiple agencies are on the job,” he said. As per the initial investigation, it appears she entered India illegally due to a love affair, he added.

On July 4, an FIR was registered against Seema Ghulam Haider, a resident of Sindh district in Pakistan, for unauthorised entry into India. She was booked for flouting the Foreigners Act, the Passport (Entry into India) Act, and was slapped a case under section 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 34 (act done by several people with common intention). During the investigation, it was found that Seema had come in contact with Sachin Meena, a resident of Gautam Buddh Nagar in Uttar Pradesh, on an online gaming app, PUBG, in 2020 and the duo became friends. It was found during that Seema and Sachin decided to share WhatsApp numbers after fifteen days of playing the game.

The first time Seema entered India was on March 10, 2023 on a tourist visa. She flew from Karachi to Sharjah and onward to Kathmandu in Nepal to meet Sachin.

On March 8, Sachin made a parallel journey from Gautam Buddh Nagar to Gorakhpur and travelled the next day to Sonauli border to cross over to Nepal, as per case records. He reached Nepal on the morning of March 10 and received Seema the same evening at the airport from where the couple allegedly went to stay in New Vinayak Hotel at new bus stand park in Kathmandu. The couple allegedly stayed together for a week from March 10-17 after which she took the same route back and reached Karachi on March 18.

The second time she visited India was on May 10, using a tourist visa, and travelled with her four children from Karachi to Dubai and then flew to Kathmandu the next day. The same evening she used public transport to reach Pokhara border in Nepal where she spent a night. She does not remember the name of the hotel, according to investigators.

The next morning, on May 12, she took a bus to Khunwa border to enter Siddharth Nagar on the Indian territory. She travelled through Lucknow and Agra to reach Gautam Buddh Nagar in Uttar Pradesh on May 13. Sachin had rented a room and both started staying together, a police source said.

When the police got information about her illegal entry, Seema, Sachin and his father Netrapal were arrested. The UP Anti-terror Squad took up the investigation soon after. Investigators revealed that Seema’a husband Ghulam Haider was working in Saudi Arabia since 2019. He used to send her Rs 70,000 to 80,000 (Pakistani rupees ) per month. Seema was spending the bulk of that money on house rent and children’s education and was saving Rs 20,000 per month.

Out of this money, she participated in two chit-fund schemes at her village, of Rs 1 lakh each, the duration of which was 20 months. In 2021, she got Rs. 2 lakh from these two schemes.

Seema’s kitty grew in the next two years as she got another Rs 1 lakh from Haider’s father, Rs 2.5 lakh from Haider besides saving Rs 5-6 lakh and an additional corpus from relatives which helped her acquire Rs 12 lakh. According to case records, she bought a 39-square-yard house in her name. She had fallen in love with Sachin by then, and in January 2022, she sold the house for Rs 12 lakh because she wanted to come to India to meet Sachin. The saga soon ended with her being caught and arrested for illegal entry and her Pakistani passports sent alarm bells ringing in New Delhi.

“People enter from Nepal border and even Indians cross over into Nepal but if a Pakistani national enters from Nepal, it will not go unnoticed and will raise suspicion,” said an investigator.

Seema’s fate is now hanging between a final report from intelligence agencies and a diplomatic concession to allow her stay in India for some more time.

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