Indian police clear "Slumdog" child star's father

Wed Apr 22, 2009 8:32am EDT
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By Shilpa Jamkhandikar

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Indian police said on Wednesday they had no evidence to suggest that the father of a child star in the Oscar-winning film "Slumdog Millionaire" tried to sell his daughter.

The mother of 9-year-old Rubina Ali demanded an investigation after a sting operation by a British tabloid alleged her father tried to sell her for 200,000 pounds ($290,000).

Rubina's father, Rafiq Qureshi, and other slum dwellers were subsequently questioned by police.

"So far there is no evidence of any offence, hence there is no registration of complaint and no arrest," Nisar Tamboli, a senior police officer, told Reuters on Wednesday.

Rubina, who starred as the youngest incarnation of the film's heroine, Latika, lives with her father and stepmother in a teeming slum in the suburbs of the financial hub.

Rubina's father had denied to the media that he was trying to sell her.

The sting operation by the News of the World quickly made headlines in India and abroad.

Slumdog Millionaire, a rags-to-riches romance about a slum boy competing on a TV game show, won eight Academy Awards earlier this year.   Continued...

<p>Azharuddin Ismail and Rubina Ali (L), actors in the film "Slumdog Millionaire", display outfits designed by Ashima Leena during a fashion show on the second day of India Fashion Week in New Delhi March 19, 2009. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi</p>