'Will hunt down absconders' : Six agencies to trace NRI spouses booked for cheating; ADGP Swati Lakra

The NRI cell which was established in 2019, received 222 petitions. In 38 cases, both parties decided to compromise. While the passport office compounded/ revoked 8 passports, the Ministry of External Affairs issued 23 Look Out notices (LOC). The passports of 12 accused persons have been deposited in the courts.

By Nimisha S Pradeep  Published on  11 Nov 2021 6:45 AM GMT
Will hunt down absconders : Six agencies to trace NRI spouses booked for cheating; ADGP Swati Lakra

Hyderabad: Telangana police's NRI cell has received 174 complaints against Non-Resident Indian husbands who have abandoned their wives.

These cases were reported over a period of 2 years. Police said the number could be high if the unreported cases are taken into consideration.

The NRI cell which was established in 2019, received 222 petitions. In 38 cases, both parties decided to compromise. While the passport office compounded/ revoked 8 passports, the Ministry of External Affairs issued 23 Look Out notices (LOC). The passports of 12 accused persons have been deposited in the courts.

Swati Lakra- Additional Director General of Police, Women safety Wing, Telangana told NewsMeter that six agencies including anti-crime will now hunt down absconding NRI husbands.

Telangana police are liaising with Indian Embassies, Consulate Generals, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs, Regional Passport Officer, Telangana Principal Secretary, GAD (Political), to take these cases to a logical end, she said.

She further stated that the Regional Passport Officer, Secunderabad, will impound passports in selected cases."In the majority of domestic abuse cases, it is a herculean task to bring him/her to the court for trial once they travel abroad. Spouses slip legal procedures in spite of filing charge sheets. Police are unable to bring them back to attend the trials," she said.

Journey of the NRI Cell

When the NRI cell was formed, Telangana police sent teams to Punjab, Delhi to understand how their NRI cells operate. However, it was found that most cases of property issues and assets disputes were filed.

So we started from scratch, the cell made our own procedure and systems which includes LOC notices, revoking passports. It was important to liaison with various stakeholders I.e. Ministry of External affairs, Consulates, Indian embassies in different countries, in order to trace the accused.

Procedure:

When a victim approached the NRI Cell headed by a Deputy Superintendent of Police rank officer, the case details are dealt with by an inspector rank officer. He connects the victim to the concerned regional police station and introduces a legal adviser and an NGO if need be. Their job would be to counsel and explain the step-by-step procedure.

Cases of domestic violence are registered across 18 women police stations in Telangana. The NRI cases are forwarded to the Indian Embassies of respective countries via the Ministry of External affairs. The majority of the cases are of those NRI spouses who live in the USA, Canada, Britain, New Zealand, and Australia.

It is a tedious process to trace the accused, and get him or her to attend court. In worst cases, LOC is issued and the passport is revoked.

They have been pathetic cases where the man who has already been married abroad, re-married out of family pressure and later abandoned the wife. Few have even shunned them from their homes.

Few are involved in post-marital affairs and have deserted their wives. I remember a case, where the child was differently-abled and the husband shunned the mother and the child. The woman found shelter with an NGO abroad and later returned to Hyderabad and is still fighting her battle. Each case is worse than the other.


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