Sarbat Da Bhala, an NGO in Batala, Punjab, has paid a fine of Rs 4 lakh to release a Pakistani mother and her Indian-born daughter from jail.

The woman, Fatima, was travelling from Pakistan with her sister, to India, and both were arrested at the Attari railway station in 2006. They were both in possession of contraband drugs.

They had been given ten years’ of imprisonment and also had to pay a fine of Rs 4 lakh. If they were unable to pay the fine, they would have to spend more time in prison.

Fatima was pregnant at the time of arrest, and her child Henna is yet to see the world outside prison.

They completed their prison term last November but had been unable to pay the fine, which is why they could not be released.

“It has been over four months since completion of their term and they are still languishing in the jail. The girl, Henna, is just 10 and it is time she goes to school. If she returns home, we would succeed in sending out a message of peace between the two countries,” said Navtej Singh of the Sarbat Da Bhala Humanity Club NGO.

Advocate Navjor Kaur Chabba is working on releasing the women and the Indian child. She had met all of them in jail.

“Both of them are very happy with their early release and have expressed gratitude towards everyone pursuing their case and have also urged the Pakistan government and Pak NGOs to come forward to help Indians lodged in Pak jail,” she told The Times of India. 

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