A Pakistani and Indian couple who has made headlines for meeting while gaming online and were arrested for violating India’s immigration laws have been
What happened: Seema Ghulam Haider, a 27-year-old Pakistani woman, was arrested on Tuesday for illegally entering India without a visa, while her Indian partner, Sachin Meena, 22, was arrested on the same day for sheltering an illegal immigrant. Meena’s father, Netrapal Meena, was also arrested for sheltering Haider.
Judicial Magistrate Nazim Akbar of Gautam Buddh Nagar Court granted the couple bail on Friday after advocate Heman Krishna Parashar argued in the Jewar Civil Court that the woman “had no ill intention in entering the country, and she came here only to marry her lover.” Meena’s father was also granted bail.
The couple were released from jail on Saturday.
How they met: Haider first came into contact with Meena in 2019 while they were playing the online game “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds,” also known as “PUBG,” during the COVID-19 pandemic and three years before India banned the popular battle royal game in due to its Chinese links.
The two maintained contact via WhatsApp and Instagram and confessed their feelings for each other in January 2021, Haider told The Quint.
Traveling to India: In March, Meena and Haider reportedly met in-person in Nepal, where they spent seven days in a hotel and later decided to get married at the Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu, Hindustan Times reported.
In May, Haider reportedly left Karachi, Pakistan, for Dubai with her four children. She and her children then went to Kathmandu, Nepal, and Pokhara, another city in Nepal, before managing to successfully cross the Indian border. Deputy Police Commissioner in Greater Noida Saad Miya Khan said that Haider was able to cross by bus and bypass security checks since she was traveling with children.
A lawyer who maintained anonymity tipped the police off after Haider went to their office to inquire about getting married in India on June 29.
Current complications: Haider’s allegedly abusive Pakistani husband, who claims his wife was “seduced” through “PUBG,” reportedly urged the Indian government to send Haider to Pakistan, arguing that she must get divorced first before marrying someone else.
The couple’s plea: The couple have urged the Indian government to allow them to marry and stay in India.
“I left Pakistan to stay with Sachin. He means the world to me. I love him a lot. I want to get married to him and stay here (in India),” Seema told local media, according to India Today
. “I have left everything for him.”
“I am requesting the government to let us get married and stay together,” Sachin added. “We love each other a lot.”