Mumbai couple convicted in drug case in Qatar returns home Mumbai, Apr 15 (PTI) Mumbai-based couple Oniba and Sharique Qureshi, who was sentenced to 10 years in jail in a drug case in Qatar in 2019, returned to the city on Thursday with their minor daughter.

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A Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) official said the couple landed at the Mumbai airport at 2.30 am.

The couple had been cleared of all charges after it came to light that a relative planted narcotics in their bag without their knowledge.

The couple was arrested at Hamad International Airport in July 2019 after Qatari authorities recovered 4.1 kg of hashish in their bag. It later came to light that Sharique’s aunt, Tabassum Qureshi, had used them to transport the drugs. The trip had been sponsored by Tabassum, the official said.

At that time, while Sharique was employed with a Japanese company, Oniba had just learnt that she was pregnant. She delivered a girl, Aayat, in jail last February. The couple’s family members approached the Indian Government, asking it to intervene in the matter.

Following this, the NCB got in touch with the authorities in Qatar and the family challenged the lower court order convicting the couple. Eventually, the couple was cleared of all charges.

Relatives of the couple told reporters that they are thankful to the Indian government and the Narcotics Control Bureau for ensuring their safe return to the homeland.

The couple’s parents and other relative had gathered at the Mumbai airport hours before their arrival.

“I am very much happy as I am meeting my granddaughter for the first time. She is one year and two months old,” said Oniba’s mother.

“We had been very worried for our children,” a relative said.

“We had submitted applications to the Prime Minister’s Office, the Home Minister’s Office, the Ministry of External Affairs, DG NCB Rakesh Asthana and also to the Mumbai police with a request to bring the couple as they were innocent,” the relative said. PTI DC VT VT