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Indian police end probe of 'Slumdog' star's dad

MUMBAI, India -- Indian police said Thursday they would notcharge the father of a child star in the hit movie "SlumdogMillionaire," and ended their investigation into claims he triedto sell his 9-year-old girl to a reporter posing as a wealthysheik.

Rubina Ali's estranged mother, Khurshid Monish Dewade, filed acomplaint against the girl's father on Sunday, after the Britishtabloid News of the World reported that he offered to give Ali upfor adoption in exchange for $400,000, police said.

The newspaper -- owned by News International Ltd., the mainBritish subsidiary of News Corp., which also owns "Slumdog"distributor Fox Searchlight Pictures -- said the deal was allegedlyoffered to one of its reporters.

The father, Rafiq Qureshi, has denied any wrongdoing.

The accusations further complicated the lives of the families ofthe slum-dwelling child stars, who have come under intense scrutinysince the movie skyrocketed to Oscar-winning fame and grossed morethan $300 million worldwide.

"There is not any crime. The matter is closed," said RahimShaikh, the senior police inspector in Mumbai's Nirmal Nagar, wherethe claim against Qureshi was processed.

No charges have been filed, he added.

Police questioned Qureshi but were unable to track down thethree journalists who carried out the alleged sting.

Officers looked for them at the Leela, a five-star hotel wherethe report said they met Qureshi but they had already left, Shaikhsaid.

Police traced two mobile phone numbers the trio gave the hotelto local Vodafone SIM cards, which were activated on April 16 anddeactivated on April 19.

Indian police made no further efforts to contact the journalistsor News of the World in England, Shaikh added.

"The matter is closed. No money changed hands. Rubina is here.There is no crime," he said.

After the report, Rubina's estranged mother thanked News of theWorld "for bringing this matter to light."

"You have come like angels for me and my daughter and saved herfrom ending up God knows where," she told the paper. "Who knowswho Rubina would have been sold to, or what would have happened tomy child if you hadn't exposed Rafiq."

Dewade could not be reached for comment Thursday.


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