We’re doing our best to get Indira Gandhi’s ex-husband to surrender, says IGP

I want him (Riduan) to come forward and surrender as there’s nothing to be afraid of, says Abdul Hamid Bador.

KUALA LUMPUR: Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador said today police have been trying to give fugitive Muhammad Riduan Abdullah the confidence to return to Malaysia and surrender.

He said police were trying to contact Riduan, sought for defying a court order, but that the latter was moving around often to prevent detection.

“Negative comments have surfaced from netizens recently, criticising the police’s actions and saying, ‘What are you waiting for, just catch him’.

“This is not a chicken that I want to catch. This is a human being in a foreign country. I can’t just enter the country and simply catch him on my own. And he’s moving around.

“But I’m trying to give him the confidence to come forward and surrender. What’s there to be afraid of? He’s not facing a death sentence.

“For the sake of the child herself. What good is there living as a fugitive? Bringing the child there to live, moving here and there, supposedly to lose their tracks,” he said at a press conference at Bukit Aman today.

Hamid said a local political leader and a religious figure in the country where Riduan was currently residing were assisting the police in persuading him to return to Malaysia.

“We want the best solution for the mother, the father and the child. So that she can grow up in a peaceful environment and go to school peacefully.

“This case was politicised. I don’t want this case to be politicised. It’s simple, straightforward. We have the facilities and experience. We will try to bring him back,” he said.

Riduan is the former husband of M Indira Gandhi, who won custody of their daughter Prasana Diksa, after a legal battle over the unilateral conversion of their children to Islam.

He fled with his daughter in 2009 when she was only 11 months old, after he converted to Islam and no longer used his birth name, K Pathmanathan.

In 2016, the Federal Court ordered the Inspector-General of Police (then Khalid Abu Bakar) to arrest Riduan and retrieve Prasana.