14-Member Kerala Salafi Family Denied Entry Into Yemen

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Kasaragod: A 14-member family from Kerala was sent back by the Yemen authorities after they tried to enter the war-torn country to ‘study Islam’. The Yemeni border security denied entry to the family and sent them back to India. Kerala’s Special Branch officer told The New Indian Express that the family follows Salafism. It was headed by a couple from Kasaragod and Kozhikode. They came back to Kerala after being denied entry in Yemen.

The couple that led the family to Yemen has been identified as 32-years-old Abdul Hasheem of Vidyanagar, Kasaragod and his wife, who hails from Kodiyathur, Kozhikode. In the group of 14 people, apart from the couple, there were 12 close relatives, including four minors. They started their journey a month ago. All the relatives hailed from Kozhikode.

The Special Brand has sent a report on their attempted journey to the headquarters. Notably, in 2015, the Indian Embassy had evacuated the Indian citizens and some foreigners from war-hit Yemen. The Indian embassy was also shifted from Sana’a, Yemen’s capital, to Djibouti, a neighbouring country of Yemen, in the light of ongoing conflict.

The officer investigating the case told TNIE that Indians who wish to travel to Yemen need special permission from the Central Government. He further said the family reached Salalah in Oman and attempted to enter Yemen. “He said, “But they were blocked by Yemeni security at the check post and sent back.” After that, they returned via Muscat and reached back India via Kozhikode International Airport. When the investigating agency asked them about the motive of the journey, the family said they went to ‘study Islam’.

Yemen is one of the poorest countries in Asia. Owning to the ongoing insurgency and civil war, the country has been struggling for a long. However, many who want to study Islam sees Yemen as a preferred destination. Irrespective of the ongoing crisis, the Yemen Universities are still open for foreign students of religious studies.

In the year 2015, India evacuated over 4500 Indians and foreign nationals from war-hit Yemen. Late Sushma Swaraj was the foreign minister at that time. General VK Singh led the operation to evacuate the Indians from Yemen. The operation ran for two weeks and Indians were given safe passage after Prime Minister Narendra Modi requested Saudi Arabia King for the same. Every day, the war was halted for two hours and flights were allowed to facilitate the evacuation of the Indian nationals.

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