Man wanted in Indian criminal case is tracked down in Norfolk
PUBLISHED: 08:28 15 July 2015 | UPDATED: 12:09 15 July 2015
A husband wanted on serious charges relating to alleged domestic violence and demanding a dowry has 'absconded' from his Indian homeland and been living in Norfolk for the past four years.
The newspaper has tracked down the accused, Ahmed Anees Hussain, and confronted him as to why he has not answered the criminal case in his native India.
We have also passed on our findings to Norfolk Police - but they are powerless to act unless asked to do so by the Home Office, which refuses to comment on the case.
His ex-wife, television news presenter Fathima Sumaya Khan, today pleaded with British and Indian authorities to force him to return to his homeland and face the charges.
When approached by a reporter, Mr Hussain, who lives in a flat near Norwich city centre, protested his innocence and claimed he intended to return to India and face up to the accusations within the next 12 months.
The case highlights how easy it can potentially be for those wanted on criminal charges in another country to evade the courts by living in the United Kingdom.
Mr Hussain, 37, has been working as a carer for the elderly for most of the four years since the case was brought.
We were made aware of the case when approached by Ms Khan, who claims her family has been placed under immense pressure and left in financial ruin because of what happened.
The 32-year-old said: “He’s a person who’s wanted in a serious criminal case in India. So now I believe the UK government has to take action.”
But Mr Hussain said: “I am the victim in this and I am in hell over it. When I get the money I will go back and sort it out and show that I am innocent.”
The couple had an arranged marriage in Bangalore, now known as Bengaluru, in May 2010, with the consent of Ms Khan, a freelance journalist who has previously worked for some of Bengaluru’s top media companies.
A week before the wedding, Mr Hussain’s family allegedly demanded expensive gifts and jewellery in payment of dowry, a serious crime in India. This is something he denies.
Ms Khan says her father, a retired high-ranking senior police officer, felt he had no option but to comply and spent almost his entire savings of £14,000 on a lavish engagement party, wedding ceremony and gifts for his future son-in-law’s family.
“My dad was under a tremendous mental pressure,” said Ms Khan. “This was only done because he thought there was no other way out. He didn’t want to get into any kind of situation where our reputation in society was at stake.”
Shortly after their wedding the couple moved to Cromer, where Mr Hussain had been living since 2007, and she claims this is when his behaviour worsened, with the police called out to their house several times.
She was classified as being at ‘medium risk’ by Norfolk Police, something which has been confirmed by police documents obtained by the newspaper.
“The worst days of my life began the moment I landed in the UK,” she said. “I was brought up in a very protective environment. I got the best of educations, I worked with some of the best media houses and I always felt safe and happy.
“So when I went through this bad marriage, I was in a state of complete shock. I didn’t know what to do.”
After living for a while in London, which she claims she was forced to do by Mr Hussain in order to seek work, Ms Khan returned to Bengaluru in 2011 and severed contact with her husband, later filing for divorce.
In September 2011, her father went to the Bengaluru police and charges were issued under the Dowry Prohibition Act and Indian Penal Code, against Mr Hussain, as well as his sister and mother.
The sections of the law they are charged under includes accusations of ‘subjecting her to cruelty’, ‘criminal intimidation’ and ‘giving’, ‘taking’ or ‘demanding’ dowry.
In the most serious of cases it can lead to up to seven years imprisonment.
While Mr Hussain’s sister and mother have appeared before the court and been bailed, Mr Hussain has failed to respond to the authorities.
Documents obtained by the newspaper show that Mr Hussain is listed by the courts in India as having ‘absconded’ and that a Look Out Circular has been issued against him for each of the last four years.
The Home Office said it was unable to comment on whether extradition proceedings are active, saying “as a matter of long standing policy and practice, the UK will neither confirm nor deny that an extradition request has been made or received, until such time as a person is arrested in relation to the request”.
A Norfolk Police spokeswoman confirmed they had attended domestic incidents at the couple’s marital house previously.
However, they explained they would only act on the current case following instruction from the Home Office, which they hadn’t received.
We contacted the Bengaluru City Police who confirmed the details of the case and the charges, but has not issued extradition proceedings. We were unable to obtain further comment.
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AHMED HUSSAIN COMES FACE-TO-FACE WITH REPORTER
Given that he has failed to answer to the charges for four years, it was surprisingly easy to track down the accused Ahmed Hussain.
All it took was a few calls and some trawling through the electoral register.
He agreed to meet in a park in Norwich and says he is happy to give ‘his side to the story’.
He claims that problems in the marriage began on the very day the pair were wed, but were not his fault.
Mr Hussain vehemently denies all of the accusations made against him, claiming he just ‘wanted to make her happy’.
He claims that he fully intends to face the charges, but he can’t afford to go back and answer bail and then go back at a later date for a trial.
He added: “These cases, once they’ve started, take ages to come to court so once proceedings properly start
then I will go back. Probably next year, then I will go.
“But this accusation is false. I worked as a carer for six years, did all those hours, never called in sick and was never late on shift. I’m not the sort of person this makes me out to be.
“I expect to be found innocent as I’ve done nothing wrong. I will swear on the Qur’an that I did not do these things.”