Mumbai

Hamid Ansari returns home after 6 years, warns against dangers of social media

Relief, elation: Family members welcome Hamid Ansari on his arrival at Mumbai airport on Thursday.

Relief, elation: Family members welcome Hamid Ansari on his arrival at Mumbai airport on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: Emmanual Yogini

33-year-old had left his house in Andheri to be with a female friend in Pakistan he had connected with on Facebook

Six years after he had left his house to be with a female friend in Pakistan he had connected with on Facebook, 33-year-old Hamid Ansari finally returned to Mumbai on Thursday.

At his residence in Andheri, an emotional Mr. Ansari was welcomed by his family and a few relatives, as curious neighbours watched. While the family decorated the entrance of the house to welcome their son, possessions inside were kept and arranged just the way they were before Mr. Ansari’s abrupt disappearance.

Moments after Mr. Ansari entered his house, he broke down. The family then offered namaaz together, a first in six years. “Ab voh aa gaya hai, dawat toh banti hai [his return calls for a feast]!” his mother exclaimed.

“This is my Mumbai. Now that I have arrived, I feel like I am truly home,” Mr. Ansari said, minutes after he landed in Mumbai. While admitting that he was also at fault in the situation, Mr. Ansari said that he did not wish to revisit the memories of the past any longer. “One must be cautious on social media, always think about your parents and never disobey them, and never lose hope however tough the situation gets,” he said.

Relief, elation: Family members welcome Hamid Ansari on Thursday.

Relief, elation: Family members welcome Hamid Ansari on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: Emmanual Yogini

 

Speaking to The Hindu on the way to their residence in Seven Bunglows, Professor Fauzia Ansari, Mr. Ansari’s mother, was elated. “I am so thrilled that I am unable to think clearly what all I wish to do now. There is no end to that list. My son is back in my embrace after six years. I am overwhelmed,” she said.

Expressing her wishes for her younger son, Ms. Ansari said, “I want to ensure that he is a mentally and physically strong to forget the trauma that he had to undergo in Pakistan. He is a capable graduate. I am going to encourage him to get a job. Then if he wants to, I will help him settle in life.”

While her son has arrived, Ms. Ansari said that she now wanted the governments of both the countries to amicably repatriate fishermen and others lodged inside. “Only families know the pain. No family should be put through this ordeal. Those who have entered there by mistake and have been lodged should be released on humanitarian grounds,” she appealed.

Mr. Ansari’s elder brother, Dr. Khalid Ansari, a dental surgeon and implantologist, said that they kept touching him after his arrival for the reality to sink in. “My mother has missed out on several festivals and functions after my brother went away. We are now going to call all those people at our place for a feast.”

On Thursday afternoon, a team from the Mumbai Police also met Mr. Ansari to probe into the missing person’s complaint that his mother had lodged at the police station after his disappearance. In November 2012, Mr. Ansari travelled to Pakistan to meet a friend he had befriended on Facebook. Two days after his arrival in Pakistan via Afghanistan, he was arrested. In 2015, a Pakistani court sent him to jail for three years.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 3:53:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/hamid-ansari-returns-home-after-6-years-warns-against-dangers-of-social-media/article25793165.ece

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