Two Indian nationals held in Saudi
for taking pictures with tri-colour,
released after MEA intervention
November 18, 2018
Two Indian nationals from Vadodara were detained by the Saudi Arabia police Friday for posing and taking pictures with the Indian Flag inside the Haram in Mecca. While 12-year-old Uzair Ali was released immediately after the intervention of the Consulate General of India in Jeddah, his father Imitiaz Ali Saiyed (45) was freed on Saturday.
Imitiaz, a manager at an optical shop at Old Padra Road, is a resident of Tandalja area of the city. He had left for Mecca along with his wife and two children on Monday. On Friday, he was detained by the Saudi Arabia police for taking a picture of his son along with the Indian tri-colour.
The Consulate General in Jeddah in a tweet stated, “Please note it is banned to display flags in Haram area. Our official has already met Mr Imitiaz Ali and son Mr Uzair Ali at Haram Police station. After our intervention, Uzair Ali has been released. We are following the case and all help being extended for early release of Mr Imitiaz as well.”
Imitiaz’s brother Faiyaz Ali said, “My cousin who lives in Saudi informed us about the detention. We were informed that today in the evening the police will make a final decision regarding the case. We are yet to hear from them. They had taken the flag along with them but did not know that posing with it and taking pictures was an offence.”
Zuber Goplani, National Executive Council member of the All India Muslim Majlis-e- Mushawrat’s, Gujarat Chapter in a series of tweets to the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Gujarat Chief Minister’s Office, Prime Minister’s office and the Consulate General for India in Jeddah, had apprised them of the situation and sought their help and intervention into the matter.