Mother of Kerala woman in Afghan jail hopes Modi govt will pardon her daughter

PTI, Jun 13, 2021, 6:23 PM IST

Kochi: The mother of Nimisha Fathima, a Keralite woman who landed in a jail in Afghanistan following the killing of her IS fighter husband in an attack there, hopes that the Narendra Modi government will pardon her daughter and bring her back to India.

”I’ve heard that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a very kind-hearted person. I have full faith in him,” Bindu Sampath, Fathima’s mother said.

She was reacting to reports that the Central government was not interested in bringing back her daughter and three other IS widows of Indian origin, now lodged in a Kabul jail.

Sampath said no communication has been received from the government on the issue and reports about the government’s disinterest could be one view of the Centre.

”But I am very positive because there will be other views also in the government. I am banking on that. I believe in God. I am sure that God will create a situation for her return,” she said.

Sampath said she wanted to meet Modi and submit a memorandum, seeking the return of her daughter.

”But no one is there to help me out,” she said.

The mother said she would seek the legal route to get her daughter back home if all efforts with the government failed.

”I have consulted some lawyers of the Supreme Court. They have said there is a legal option,” Sampath said.

Nimisha Sampath was a Hindu before embracing Islam.

She changed her name to Fathima Isa.

She married an alleged Islamic State (ISIS) operative from Kerala and both were reported missing, along with 19 others from the southern State in June 2016 before reaching an ISIS-controlled territory in Afghanistan.

Fathima gave birth there.

She and three other women had surrendered to the Afghanistan government in 2019 after their husbands were killed in the fight with the forces there.

When reports about the government’s disinterest appeared in the media on Saturday, Sampath had said she feared that her daughter would fall into the hands of the Taliban once the US troops withdraw from Afghanistan in September this year.

”Afghanistan will be under the control of militant groups, including the Taliban, when the US troops return from Afghanistan. The government in that country has said it will release those who are imprisoned in connection with IS cases. But the Union government has not responded,” she had told reporters.

”It has been a year and a half since I found out that my daughter is in an Afghan prison, but attempts to get her back have not worked,” she said.

Sampath said she had sent e-mails to Home Minister Amit Shah seeking his help, but it did not work.

It was on March 15 last year that a video was released by a Delhi-based website, showing Fathima and three other Keralite women – Rafeela, Soniya Sebastian and Merrin Jacob- expressing their interest and hope to return to India.

In the video, the women were seen saying that they were living among several fighters and other families who had surrendered to the Afghanistan government in 2019 after their husbands were killed.

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