KENDRAPARA, ODISHA (TIP): An NRI couple has been arrested in Saudi Arabia on charges of practising black magic, official sources said here on October 22. Seikh Nizam and Noor Jehan, originally from Odisha’s Kendrapara township, had shifted to Turba city of Saudi Arabia few years ago where they claimed to be a healer and mystic. The couple was arrested last month after authorities reportedly found a variety of occult items in their possession, including herbs, consulate general office of India office in Jeddah said. Raj Kumar, the community welfare officer of the consulate in Jeddah told over phone, “The couple had allegedly resorted to black magic and a complaint in this regard had been lodged by their Saudi employer Mohammad Safi in Turba town near Jeddah”. He said they are lodged in a jail and are facing trial as per Saudi law. If found guilty, they may have undergo minimum of two years of rigorous imprisonment. After the couple was arrested, their six children were left alone in their rented house and had to undergo harrowing ordeal in the alien country for three weeks.
They were flown back to their hometown here last week by the Indian consulate after some expatriates raised the issue. The children, eldest hardly 12-year-old and youngest hardly of 18 months, are now staying in their paternal uncle’s house here. “Some locals had taken care of the children and had informed us regarding their plight. The consulate office then shifted them to safety. They were flown back to Delhi from consulate office cost. Flight tickets were also booked for them from Delhi to Bhubaneswar. Competent authorities in India were informed of the children return journey to ensure their safe return to their home as they had no elders to accompany,” Kumar added. Abdul Rehman, eldest son of the couple said, “I know nothing of the crime committed by my father and mother. They are innocent. They have been arrested on false charges. I am shocked. I am feeling absence of dear parents. The Saudi police had badly beaten up my parents. I had met them in jail. I saw injury-induced scars on their bodies. Seeing me, they cried like a child. I feel I am orphaned”.