Two daughters of a man from Ukulhas island were returned to the Maldives last week after four years in an Indian orphanage.
The girls were discovered in the orphanage after the man’s Indian wife fled with their three children in 2013 and blocked any contact with the father.
His long battle for custody and the plight of the girls was the subject of a Raajje TV documentary last year.
According to the station, the eldest girl, aged 12, was brought back in early 2017. The 10-year-old and seven-year-old girls arrived on Sunday after their mother was asked to hand over custody in exchange for a divorce.
The Ukulhas man had travelled to India upon learning from a relative of his wife that the girls were left in an orphanage. He appealed to the Maldivian authorities but was previously unable to bring back the girls, who were born on his island and have Maldivian passports.
The mother has yet to formally hand over custody, Mihaaru reported.
“We didn’t hear from them after their mother left with them and only found out where they were after a while. We’ve been going to India every two months to meet the kids and try to bring them back,” a family member told the paper.
The family said there was no cooperation from Indian authorities after the Maldivian government made a request.
“We want to keep the kids here no matter the cost. We want the state to do something so that the kids cannot be taken back.”
Photo by Raajje.mv