Maybe it really was just a misunderstanding after all.
The father of "Slumdog Millionaire" child actress Rubina Ali was cleared today by Indian police on charges that he was allegedly about to sell his daughter to a Middle Eastern sheikh just a few days ago. Police are citing insufficient evidence to move forward with a possible case against Rafiq Qureshi.
"So far there is no evidence of any offense, hence there is no registration of complaint and no arrest," Nisar Tamboli, a senior police officer, informed Reuters.
The fallout from this incident has been heavy and severe for a country that is struggling with trying to stop child trafficking. Just yesterday, Kurshida Davade, Rubina Ali's biological mother, fought Ali's stepmother Munni Qureshi on the streets of Mumbai while Ali's father was trying to clear his name. His entire defense was that the Middle Eastern sheikh, who was really a journalist in disguise, was "playing tricks on him" while reportedly led to a negotiation of what the price would be for Rubina. The price went to as high as $300,000 in an attempt to better his life.
As far as Rubina Ali is concerned, her future will be in good hands. There is a trust fund set up for her and co-star Azharuddin Mohammed. The Jai Ho Trust Fund, which is supported by "Slumdog Millionaire" director Danny Boyle and producer Christian Colson have issued fund that requires that a social worker check up on her to make sure she is okay, a lump sum for her to have once she turns 18, and the reassurance that her living and education costs are taken care of. While this alleged sale deserves scrutiny and media attention, the Jai Ho Trust fund wants people to remember that little Rubina Ali is only nine years old. A statement from them reads: "The Jai Ho Trust requests the media consider the possible negative impacts of the recent media scrutiny on 9-year-old Rubina, and assist in protecting her interests through sensitive reporting to limit further unnecessary exploitation of her rights and interests."
Something about all of this is a bit fishy. I think in a case like this, it should take more than just a couple of days to probe and figure out whether this situation is worthy of charges and a subsequent trial. It just seems like people want to nip this in the bud and move on. Let's just hope we never have to hear about a story like this again, even if it just alleged because that only hurts the child here. Let us know what you guys think of this case seemingly being dismissed already.