Did Indian PM Order the Abduction of Dubai Princess Sheikha Latifa?

How is the Indian PM Narendra Modi linked with Dubai Princess Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed Al Maktoum, the daughter of the ruler of Dubai? Sheikha Latifa appeared in a video last month where she alleged that she was being detained by her family members after she was abducted near the Indian coastline. EurAsian Times analyses a report by Washington Post

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According to advocacy group Detained in Dubai, by the time that video was released, she had already tried to flee, using a yacht. She was then intercepted in international waters near India by an armed group. Sheikha Latifa’s advocates allege that she has not been seen since she was abducted from the yacht. “What I can confirm is they took her and she was brought back to Dubai,” a source said to be close to the Dubai government said

Indian newspaper Business Standard added new allegations of Indian involvement in the case including the personal involvement of PM Narendra Modi. Legal scholar Abhimanyu George Jain said that if Sheikha Latifa actually suffered torture “both international and Indian laws cannot allow her to get back to Dubai.”

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The case comes as Indian PM Modi has been working to enhance bilateral relations with the United Arab Emirates, an oil-rich country and economic hub of the Middle East. Both Delhi and Dubai have remained silent about the abduction of Sheikha Latifa. The rumour surrounding Dubai’s ruler and the UAE PM, Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, came in the middle of a diplomatic crisis between Qatar and UAE due to alleged misinformation war in the region.

The Business Standard reported that “top tanking Indian officials” said that India’s PM had personally signed off on a March 4 Coast Guard operation to block Sheikha Latifa’s yacht, the U.S.-flagged Nostromo, near the coast of Goa in the Indian Ocean. The operation involved “three Coast Guard ships, helicopters and a maritime surveillance aircraft.” Sources told the newspaper that India acted after the Indian PM received a personal message from Sheikh Mohammed stating that his daughter had been abducted.

Sheikha Latifa’s lawyers stated that the Princess initially fled to Oman and then planned to claim asylum in the United States from India. Her friend Tiina Jauhiaien and Finnish national later said in a statement that Sheikha Latifa was begging for political asylum when armed men boarded the yacht and dragged her away.

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