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Norway, not nunnery, calls Monica

Chandigarh, Jan. 17: Monica Bedi has no intentions of becoming a nun and will live with her family in Norway when she is acquitted, her brother Bobby said today.

Speaking over phone from Norway, he said the family had already applied to Norwegian authorities to grant her resident status. Monica is now in a Hyderabad jail on the charge of passport forgery.

“After all that has happened, she needs affection the most,” he said.

Monica, variously known as girlfriend or wife of deported gangster Abu Salem, was arrested in Lisbon in September 2002 for entering Portugal on forged documents. She and Salem were extradited to India last November.

Bobby said the family was in touch with her through lawyers and relatives and the one thing she was looking forward to was her release on bail.

“Reports that she wants to become a nun and serve society are wrong. She will serve society in other ways. It is not necessary that she embraces Christianity to serve people,” he said.

“Moreover, she has not intimated us that she is becoming a nun. Just because some nuns have been meeting jail inmates does not mean that they are on a recruiting spree. She will be staying with us in Norway.”

Bobby said Monica would remain in India till she was cleared of all the charges against her. “She will fight for her innocence till the charges are lifted or the court acquits her. She has already suffered due to her relationship with Salem. Her innocence landed her in trouble.”

Their parents were not going to India because they feared their statements would hamper Monica’s chances of an early release, he said.

“We feel our presence in India could lead to reports that can damage Monica’s chances to prove that she is innocent and had nothing to do with Salem’s underworld deals. We may not be near her but she is always with us,” Bobby said.

“Once she is freed, she will live in Norway,” he reiterated.

In a goodwill gesture, a section of Nihang Sikhs has offered to provide Monica bodyguards on condition that she snaps ties with Salem. It has also offered her legal and financial aid.

The offer was made to Monica’s uncle Purshottam in her native village, Chabbewal, in Hoshiarpur district.

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