Indian expat reunites with family at end of 15-year-long ordeal

Indian expat reunites with family at end of 15-year-long ordeal

Jasmine Ali, the 21-year-old engineering graduate, and her two siblings — Shahna and Jamshid — could not control their emotions when they were united with their father after years of anxious wait covering their childhood and adolescent period.

Kalamvalappil Ali, who had been behind bars in a Jeddah prison and a deportation center, was reunited with his family after 15 years of separation. The Saudi authorities deported him on a Calicut bound flight that left King Abdulaziz International Airport on Friday.

“All praise to Almighty God for answering our earnest prayers that we made all these years to be reunited with our beloved father,” Jasmine told Saudi Gazette over the phone from her native village of Thennala in Malappuram district of the southern Indian state of Kerala.

“As the youngest daughter, I had been impatiently waiting for the return of my father for one and a half decades, and I was sure that one day God would answer our prayers,” she said while thanking all those who made relentless efforts to make the release of her father a reality. She noted that her father’s parents passed away and their last wish of seeing their son remained unfulfilled.

The family members thanked Kerala’s Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Legislative Assembly Speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan, P.V. Anver M.L.A, Indian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Acting Consul General Y. Sabir, Consuls Dr. Mohammed Aleem and Sahil Sharma, and several other officials and social workers for their sincere efforts that made possible the safe repatriation of their breadwinner. They specially thanked Saudi Gazette for making the necessary intervention to expedite the process of deportation.

Ali is a renal patient, who undergoes dialysis three times a week. The harrowing tale of this hapless man began in 2005 when he ended up in jail after being convicted in a drug trafficking case. Ali was convicted as an accomplice while working as a private taxi driver in Sharafiyyah, Jeddah, after two of his passengers were caught by security officials. The officials discovered drugs from the Pakistani passengers who rented the car for a ride. After trial, the court sentenced the Pakistanis to 25 years in prison each while Ali was handed a 15-year jail term.

Six years back while serving his jail term, Ali became a renal patient after both his kidneys stopped working. As his health condition began deteriorating day by day, his wife Sharifa and kin made frantic efforts to save his life. After relentless efforts by Abdul Hameed, his brother in law, and other relatives to secure his release on humanitarian grounds, the man was released from jail in January this year and was sent to Deportation Center (Tarheel). The jail and Tarheel authorities took him to King Fahd Hospital (KFH) every alternate day to make him undergo dialysis sessions.

Due to the outbreak of coronavirus, Ali’s deportation was delayed. The loss of his passport was another hurdle. The intervention of Ambassador Dr. Ausaf Sayeed in August this year expedited his deportation. Subsequently, the Indian consulate issued an emergency certificate (EC) as the temporary travel document.

However, his deportation was delayed further as he contracted coronavirus and was admitted to King Fahd Hospital. When he was taken back to Tarheel after his recovery, he slipped and fell down, sustaining a hip fracture necessitating surgery that he underwent at KFH.

Speaking to Saudi Gazette, Mohamed Ashraf P.V., former president of Jeddah chapter of Muslim Educational Society, who coordinated the two-year-long efforts to secure his release and deportation, thanked the Saudi and Indian authorities for their prompt intervention to save the life of this extremely distressed expatriate.

“It was the intervention of Kerala Speaker Sreeramakrishnan during his visit to Jeddah in April 2019 that brought the attention of Kerala government to this case and the speaker made consistent and coordinated efforts to secure Ali’s release,” Ashraf said while especially thanking staff nurses Shamla Adoor and Simi and other medical team members of KFH, who served Ali when underwent dialysis courses for the last six years.

He also thanked V.K. Rauf, patron of Jeddah chapter of Navodaya Cultural Center, P.V. Hassan Siddeeque Babu and Ishaq Poondoli of Kerala Muslim Cultural Center, Abbas Chemban of Overseas Indian Cultural Congress, Consulate official Tanveer Ali, Mohammed Saeed, manager of the Jeddah branch of Akbar Gulf Travels of India, Faiz, and Fasal Pottammal for their support in making deportation procedures easier.