A 37-year-old Pakistani man who claims to have strayed into India as a child has been deported to Pakistan in line with court orders.
Siraj Khan lived in India for over two decades, had a home in Antop Hill and married an Indian woman, Sajida. The couple has three children.
Siraj had no option but to leave his family behind after being deported following a protracted legal battle. “A team of seven from RA Kidwai Marg police station took him to New Delhi and from there to Amritsar to deport him through the Attari border,” a senior police officer said.
Siraj told police he had crossed the border as a child. He said he had fled after failing a school exam. He thought he was proceeding to his uncle’s home in Karachi but took the wrong train and ended up in Amritsar. After a brief stay in the city, he went to Gujarat where he lived at a children’s shelter. At 18, he moved to Mumbai after being released.
In Mumbai, he lived in Mumbai’s Rafi Ahmed Marg area. Here, he married Sajida in 2005 and worked as a waiter to make a living. Over time, they had three children and made a home in Antop Hill.
In 2009, Siraj was listed as an illegal immigrant. He told police he was from Post Sarkul, Tal Chetpen, Mansehra district in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) when a party conducted a raid at his house. However, he was not able to produce any documents to corroborate his claim. Siraj was finally deported on Monday following a protracted legal battle.
This article originally appeared in Times of India.