Monday, March 27, 2023

India-Pakistan online love story that soured and ended in jail

In January, an Indian man was arrested for smuggling a Pakistani woman into India and helping her get a fake ID card. The Pakistani woman he allegedly married has now been sent back to Pakistan.

21-year-old Mulayam Singh Yadav from India and 19-year-old Iqra Jiwani from Pakistan first met three years ago. They met online while playing the board game Ludo and fell in love from there. But they knew that it would be very difficult for them to be together.

Mulayam and Iqra traveled to Nepal last September, where they got married. They then traveled to Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka, and began living together.

But in January their happy married life suddenly soured – Iqra Jiwani was detained for entering India illegally and Yadav was arrested on charges of forgery. Yadav has been accused of fraud and harboring a foreign national in India without proper documents.

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Iqra Jiwani was extradited to Pakistan last week and Yadav is currently in jail in Bengaluru.

Yadav’s family members, who live in Uttar Pradesh, are shocked by the arrest. They say that this couple’s story is just a love story.

Yadav’s brother Jitlal has been reported as saying, ‘We want to get them back home. We understand the situation between India and Pakistan. But they’re just in love.’

Even the police seem to agree with them.

‘Besides the trespass and fraud, it appears to be a love story.’ A senior police officer in Bengaluru spoke on condition of anonymity.

This love story started in 2020, during the covid lockdown. Yadav worked as a security guard for an IT company in Bangalore and Ms Jiwani was a student from Hyderabad, Pakistan.

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After meeting online, the two fell into a long-distance relationship. But when Iqra Jiwani continued to be pressured by her family to get married, she, on Yadav’s advice, left Pakistan and traveled to Nepal via Dubai to meet Yadav. According to police, they got married in a Hindu temple there and then returned to India.

But Jiwani didn’t have the necessary documents to stay in India, so Yadav arranged for him a fake Aadhaar card—the identity card of Indian citizenship.

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According to the police, Yadav used to go out for work every day while Jiwani stayed at home. But she often made WhatsApp calls to her mother at home in Pakistan, allowing the police to reach her.

Police officials in Bengaluru say they were on high alert last month because the city was scheduled to host two major international events in February: the Aero India Air Show and a G20 finance ministers’ meeting.

After further investigation, Iqra Jiwani was detained for illegally entering India and handed over to the Foreigners Regional Registration Office on January 20. Later in February she was sent to Pakistan.

A Bengaluru police officer was reported as saying, ‘So far, she is not accused of any crime other than just coming to the country illegally. But the investigation is going on.’

Yadav’s mother, Shanti Devi, was reported as saying she hoped the governments of the two countries would help reunite them. She reportedly said, ‘We don’t care whether she is Muslim or Pakistani, she is our daughter-in-law. We will take good care of her.’



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