The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Nawab heir given 'quit India' notice

Bhopal, Oct. 18: Faiza Sultan, the granddaughter of Bhopal's last nawab Hamidullah Khan and first cousin of former cricket captain Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, was yesterday 'deported' on charges of 'overstaying'.

Faiza, 59, her husband Sardar Akbar and sons Taimur and Nadir are Pakistani nationals and had come on a visa for 30 days in June. Faiza's daughter lives in Bhopal.

The city police said their hands were tied after they received a communication from the Union home ministry declining the family's request to stay on.

The family was summoned to a local police station, taken to the railway station and sent off to Delhi with the firm instruction to head for the Wagah border even as Faiza's daughter and son-in-law waited for them at the dinner table.

Bhopal city superintendent of police Pawan Srivastva denied any high-handedness.

'They applied for visa extension, which was rejected by the ministry of home affairs. A 'Quit India' notice was served and today, they are safely in Lahore,' he told The Telegraph.

The 'royals' are, however, stunned by the 'vulgar' treatment meted out to them, but said the 'blue blood' and the legacy of Hamidullah Khan was preventing them from expressing their sense of outrage.

The word from Ahmedabad Palace was terse: the family's 'eternal link' with the city cannot be 'chained'.

Speaking off the record, some of the 'royals' said the political class appeared to have a short memory.

They said Hamidullah Khan had worked 'shoulder to shoulder' with Jawaharlal Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi and others to rope in all princely states into the Indian Union in 1947 and after, and that Nehru promised the nawab's children 'unlimited and free entry' when Hamidullah Khan died in 1959.

Hamidullah Khan had three daughters ' Abida, Sajida and Rabia.

Abida, the mother of former Pakistani foreign secretary Shaharyar Khan, was a popular figure in Bhopal.

After she died in Karachi in 2002, Digvijay Singh, then chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, had called up Shaharyar requesting him to bury her in Bhopal at Sofia mosque next to Hamidullah Khan's grave. Shaharyar was deeply moved but did not take up the offer.

Pataudi is Sajida's son while Faiza is Rabia's daughter.

Family sources said Faiza had applied for a visa extension as she was not keeping well. But the police claimed that Faiza had been staying for months seeking extension, which she did not get.

'The authorities in Delhi perhaps felt that enough was enough,' a police official here said.

'The laws are applicable to everyone, be it a commoner or a royal.'

Many city residents who have deep bonds with the nawab's family lamented Faiza's 'unceremonious exit'. But they also conceded that there was nothing 'illegal' in asking the family to leave India.

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