US child abuse activist fondly remembers Sushma Swaraj’s help in the Sherin Mathews case

Sherin Mathews
Sherin Mathews

“Sushma Swaraj helped revoke the NRI status of Wesley Mathews, now jailed for his role in the death of his daughter Sherin”: Shanna Poteet, 

Shanna Poteet, a Texas-based child abuse activist, remembers the former Indian foreign minister, Sushma Swaraj, as a lady with an iron will. Poteet, who has been vigorously crusading for justice in the 2017 death involving 3-year-old girl Sherin Mathews credits Swaraj, the then-foreign minister for India, for being very proactive and helpful in the case.

Poteet says, “It was Swaraj who defended Sherin (Mathews) and began an investigation in India into her death. Sushma Swaraj was also the one who was involved in revoking Wesley and Sini Mathews NRI cards as well as of others close to Mathews.”

The activist who has been involved in the case since the first day, terms Swaraj’s role in the case as important and inestimable. Poteet says, “Sherin’s death attracted the attention of the Indian government and then External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj took keen interest in the case and also instructed the Indian mission in Houston to make sure that the Indian toddler received justice.”

Timeline: Sherin Mathews murder case

She adds, “India revoked the Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) immigration status of Wesley and Sini (Sherin’s adoptive parents) after Sherin’s death.

She also said  that back in 2017, it was the then External Affairs Minister Swaraj who requested the Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi to probe the adoption process of 3-year-old Sherin Mathews.

“Baby Saraswati @Sherin Mathews’ who has been killed by her foster father Wesley Mathews in United States. I have requested @Manekagandhibjp Minister for Women and Child Development for a thorough investigation into the adoption process.” Tweeted Swaraj back in 2017.

At that time she had also directed that the investigation in the case should be thorough and from then on all passports for adopted children from India would be issued only after an approval from the ministry of women and child development.

The former Foreign Minister of India, who died of a cardiac arrest on Monday, was one of the most popular women in Indian politics. She touched many lives during her life and her sudden death has caused a pall of gloom, not just in India, but amongst the NRI community in the US and other countries as well As Swaraj was cremated with full state honors in the capital city of Delhi at noon on Wednesday noon, locals and people across the globe remembered her accessibility and willingness to help.

Sherin Mathews was a 3-year-old adopted girl from India who was found dead in a culvert near her home in Richardson, Texas in 2017. Her father Wesley Mathews was charged in the case and is currently serving a life sentence in the US.

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