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Rediff.com  » Sports » Malik's passport seized as marriage muddle gets murkier

Malik's passport seized as marriage muddle gets murkier

Last updated on: April 05, 2010 16:43 IST

Hyderabad Police officers leave Sania Mirza's residenceFollowing all the drama that's unfolded through the day, Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Malik's family, which was scheduled to travel to India on Wednesday for the April 15 marriage with tennis ace Sania Mirza, has decided to alter plans.

A close relative of Shoaib's said they have contacted senior Pakistani government officials and the High Commission in New Delhi for help and are considering changing their travel plans.

"Certain forces in India have become active to stop this marriage at any cost," the relative alleged.

Malik was on Monday grilled by Hyderabad police after M A Siddiqui, father of Ayesha who claims to be the cricketer's wife, lodged a complaint, accusing the cricketer of cheating his daughter.

The charges against Shoaib are that of harassment of Ayesha, cheating to marry another girl and criminal intimidation, including threats to her to keep quiet, according to Hyderabad Police Commissioner A K Khan.

Later on Monday, Malik's passport was seized by the Hyderabad police and he was asked not to leave the country.

Twenty-nine-year-old Ayesha was also questioned by the police, which is trying to verify the authenticity of the nikahnama cited by the Siddiqui family and that of the photo showing her along with 28-year-old Shoaib, a senior police officer said.

The case has been transferred to Central Crime Station, a wing of the Hyderabad police.

"The Hyderabad city police questioned Shoaib Malik for one-and-a-half hours and they have also seized his passport. Immigration authorities have been informed about the case filed against Malik and his passport seizure," Additional Commissioner of Police (Co-ordination) Dwarka Tirumala Rao said.

"As part of the investigation, a police team visited Sania's residence on Monday. We are probing the matter," Rao added.

Malik told a police team on Monday morning, at the Jubilee Hills residence of 23-year-old tennis star Sania, that he had been tricked into marriage with Ayesha.

During questioning he told the police that he was cheated by the Siddiqui family and tricked into marriage.

He said, to this day, he has not met the girl whose photographs, purported to be that of Ayesha, were sent to him by the Siddiqui family.

The Pakistan cricketer had on Sunday claimed that he was emotionally forced into the nikahnama with the Hyderabad girl but said the marriage was invalid as her family had cheated him.

Malik has appointed 60-year-old New Delhi-based lawyer Ramesh Gupta to represent him in court, while Ayesha Siddiqui's family has hired Pakistan-based lawyer Farooq Hassan to file a case against the Pakistani all-rounder.

R Ravinder Reddy, Assistant Commissioner of Police, and Mohd Iqbal Siddiqui of Banjara Hills Police Station leave Sania Mirza's residence after interrogating Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Malik on Monday.

Photograph: Mohammed Abdul Haq.

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