ATS questions Pakistani woman Seema Haider, Indian partner for the second day, and the children were also interrogated.
The cross-border “love story” between Pakistani national Seema Ghulam Haider and her Indian partner Sachin Meena has taken a mysterious turn due to concerns surrounding Haider’s uncle and brother, who are allegedly in the Pakistan army. Haider was arrested by the Gautam Budh Nagar police on July 4 for illegally entering India with her four children, all below the age of seven, via Nepal. Meena and his father were also arrested for sheltering the illegal immigrant. They have all been released on bail.
On Monday, the Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorism Squad (UP-ATS) took Haider and Meena into custody for questioning, which lasted for nearly eight hours. They were allowed to return to Meena’s home in Greater Noida‘s Rabupura but were questioned further on Tuesday. Haider’s two older children, aged eight and seven, were also questioned by the ATS. Details of the interrogation were not disclosed due to national security concerns, but it is reported that Haider failed to provide satisfactory answers about her intentions behind illegally entering India.
The Intelligence Bureau (IB) was present during the questioning, and the IB requested a report from the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), the central armed police force responsible for guarding the porous Indo-Nepal border in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
Previously, Haider had informed the Gautam Budh Nagar police that she crossed into India through the Nepal border in Bihar’s Sitamani on May 13. During the recent questioning, Haider was asked about her relatives in Pakistan, particularly her claims about her uncle and brother being in the Pakistan army. She denied these claims, stating that her brother was preparing for recruitment into the army.
The UP-ATS conducted a thorough examination of Haider and Meena’s mobile phones, attempting to retrieve data from the past several months to analyse their online activities and ascertain Haider’s intentions behind entering India. The police are currently verifying the identity proofs and other documents of Haider and her four children. The investigation of Pakistani nationals living in India without proper documentation is part of a general inquiry conducted by the police.
The case surrounding Haider and her entry into India, as well as the potential implications for national security, continues to unfold as authorities investigate the matter. According to Haider’s account, she met Meena while playing the popular online multiplayer game PUBG, which gained significant popularity during the pandemic. Their initial interactions within the game gradually developed into private conversations, and eventually, they fell in love.
In March 2023, Haider and Meena claim to have met in Nepal, where they decided to get married. However, their story took a dramatic turn when Haider, accompanied by her four children, escaped from Pakistan. They embarked on a perilous journey, travelling through Dubai and India’s porous borders with Nepal before finally arriving in Greater Noida, India.
The circumstances surrounding Haider’s entry into India, especially considering the allegations of espionage, have led the Indian authorities to launch an investigation into the matter. Initially, the Gautam Budh Nagar police conducted a thorough examination but found no clear evidence of espionage. However, due to the gravity of the situation and potential national security concerns, the investigation has now been handed over to the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) in Uttar Pradesh.
Anand Kulkarni, the Additional Commissioner of Police in Gautam Budh Nagar, has confirmed that the UP-ATS is actively investigating the case. They are specifically focused on the national security aspects and are conducting their own independent inquiries based on the information provided. When Haider, Meena, and Singh were initially arrested by the Gautam Budh Nagar police, a letter was sent to central agencies and the UP-ATS to alert them about the situation, prompting them to initiate their own investigations.
The involvement of central agencies and the UP-ATS underscores the seriousness of the allegations and the potential ramifications for national security. Espionage, if proven, can have severe consequences and pose a significant threat to a country’s sovereignty and interests. Therefore, the authorities are leaving no stone unturned in their efforts to ascertain the truth behind Haider’s entry into India and the nature of her activities.
As the investigation continues, the authorities will delve deeper into the details surrounding Haider’s journey, her connection with Meena, and any potential links to espionage or threats to national security. It is a complex case that requires a thorough examination and careful consideration of the available evidence.
The unfolding events, in this case, highlight the challenges faced by law enforcement agencies in the age of digital connectivity and the potential risks associated with online interactions. The proliferation of online platforms and the ease of communication they offer have both positive and negative consequences. While they facilitate connections and foster relationships, they can also be exploited by individuals with malicious intent.
The investigation into Haider’s case serves as a reminder of the importance of maintaining vigilance and ensuring the security of nations in an increasingly interconnected world. It also emphasises the need for robust security measures and effective intelligence gathering to effectively address potential threats.
As the authorities work to unravel the truth, the case of Haider and its potential implications for national security will undoubtedly draw significant attention. The investigation’s outcome will provide crucial insights into the complexities of modern espionage and the challenges faced by law enforcement agencies in safeguarding their nations in an evolving digital landscape.