Man runs on to Sharjah airport runway to catch plane to meet fiancee

An Indian civil engineer who sneaked on to the Sharjah International Airport runway and created quite the scene told Khaleej Times that he acted out love for his fiancee and that “I am a free man and our life is ours to do what we want”.

The 26-year-old, identified as RK, was arrested by the Sharjah Police after he climbed the airport wall and breached the runway, in an attempt to board a plane without his passport, which was being held by his employer.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, the accused engineer said: “I want to say I’m a free man and our life is ours. I did this act because I wanted to travel back to India to meet my fiancee, whatever the price I have to pay.”

During the hearing at the Sharjah Sharia Court, presided by Judge Mahamood Abu Baker, the accused said that on the day of the incident, he left behind all his belongings in his flat, taking only his wallet and went to the airport at night. He climbed the fence and sneaked on to the runway, to try and enter a plane. He hadn’t bought a ticket as his passport was being kept by the company he worked for.

So he decided to take the chance to either try and travel without his passport, or if caught in the process, he would be tried in court, get his passport and be deported from the country anyway.

RK says he was spotted by a luggage loader, after which he was arrested and taken into police custody in minutes and subsequently released on bail.

He told Khaleej Times that he was in a grave situation in the UAE as he loved his fiancée but was unable to go meet her. He claimed he had approached his company over 15 times to get permission for a visit home, but his relative who also manages the firm refused to give him permission.

“I cannot live without my fiancée and want to convince my parents to give us permission to marry,” he said.

Adding to the complicated saga is the fact that his parents do not approve of their match, while his fiancée’s parents do not have any such issues. “But I want my family to agree because I want to get married only with their precious blessings. Why do parents behave negatively? They should think about the happiness of their children. It’s the children’s right to marry anyone of their choice.”

RK added that he had no regrets at having to face legal action now, but only wants to be free to go home and get married after everything has blown over.

He was only angry at the fact that his company held his passport against his will, in violation of the UAE law. Passports should only be held by the employer for a limited period, while renewing or cancelling visas and if done otherwise, it’s a clear violation of the international and UAE labour laws.

Legal consultant Hasan Elhais from Al Rowad Advocates explained that ordinary people are not authorised to enter prohibited places such as the airport. If found guilty, they can be jailed for up to five years and fined Dh100,000.

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