Following a sting operation that showed the nine-year-old’s father demanding a whopping Rs 1.8 crore to give her up for adoption, relatives from Rubina breaks down as squabble continues all over turned up, seeking ‘a share of the pie’
Following a sting operation by a British tabloid, nine-year-old angel-faced Rubina Ali, who starred in Slumdog Millionaire, has been caught in the midst of a tug-of-war.
Since the news broke that Rubina’s father Rafique Qureshi was allegedly trying to sell his daughter to a Saudi Sheikh for a whopping Rs 1.8 crore, every relative, no matter how distant, entered the fray.
Blog: Why fret over ‘sale’ of ‘Slumdog’ kid?
A direct fallout is that the girl’s biological mother, Khurshid, who separated from her husband eight years ago, laid fresh claim to the girl on Sunday and even approached the police.
At the same time, scores of relatives stood by Rafique, ensuring he did not part with Rubina.
Blog: Morality and Rubina’s world
In the afternoon, Khurshid arrived at Bandra’s Gharib Nagar slums where Rubina lives, and abused everyone.
She tried to attack Rubina’s stepmum Munni, but others intervened. She then approached the Nirmal Nagar police to lodge a complaint and take custody of Rubina.
Meanwhile, Rafique’s relatives arrived and tried to convince the media how loving a father Rafique was and why Rubina should live only with him. A relative said, “Allegations against Rafique are false. Why will he sell her? She is going to earn so much more. Bhala dudh dene wali gai ko koi bechta hai kya? (Does anyone sell a cow that can still be milked?)”
The police, who witnessed the drama, merely recorded statements of Khurshid, Rafique and Rubina without lodging a complaint.
An officer said, “They are fighting over the girl now that she has turned into a goose that lays golden eggs. Everybody wants a share of the pie. Khurshid had come to us seeking custody of the girl even when the film first made headlines. But the girl says she wants to live with her father.”
PI Prakash Salunkhe of Nirmal Nagar police said, “We recorded statements and will investigate allegations of illegal adoption. No complaint has been lodged.”
Meanwhile, following the denial of the sting by Rafique, The News of the World released a statement saying: “The News of the World thoroughly investigated information that the father of Rubina was seeking to sell his daughter for adoption. We are entirely satisfied that our report is fair, true and accurate.”
The drama unfolded when News of the World reported that as Slumdog Millionaire did not fetch Rubina’s family a fortune, her father was even prepared to “sell” her for a tidy sum. The tabloid ran a sting operation video on its Web site, where Rafique is seen negotiating a price for Rubina’s illegal adoption. The reporters posed as a wealthy Sheikh family from Saudi Arabia, offering to adopt the girl. They called Rafique to Leela Kempinski on Friday along with Rubina. There, Rafique allegedly demanded Rs 1.8 crore for the adoption.
WHAT RAFIQUE SAYS
Rafique denies trying to sell the girl. He said there was no talk of money even though he is clearly heard asking for money in the video. He said, “They contacted me saying they were moved by our poverty and the Sheikh wanted to meet the girl. When we met, they spoke of adoption. But I refused. Why should I sell my girl? The voice (asking for money) in the video is not mine. It is a conspiracy to take my girl from me. My former wife Khurshid is involved.”
WHAT RUBINA SAYS
Rafique’s statement, however, does not tally with that of his daughter. While on camera Rubina maintained what her father said was true, off camera she said, “I don’t know what happened. While returning my father asked me if I would like to go to Saudi Arabia. I said yes. They also spoke of getting passports for themselves.”
Source: Siasat News