In two years,
Dr Madhumita Mishra has travelled a long way, from Ramanujan Guest
House in Karol Bagh to a medical college in Andhra Pradesh. Her life
has changed from being a Hindu Brahmin living with her family to
living alone as Dr Zainab, a Muslim.
go, this one was not smooth, and it took her through Delhi Police
special cell’s interrogation rooms and courtrooms.
Ramanujan Guest House on her own, taking a flight to Bangalore,
where she was to enter the Jamait-ul-Mohsinat madrasa and embrace
Islam on September 3, 2007.
later, her husband Subhijay Sinha filed a complaint with the police
claiming she had been kidnapped by a fundamentalist group based in
special cell promptly arrested two Bangalore-based software
engineers, Mohammed Yaseen and his friend Shaji Yusuf, on charges of
kidnapping her and later extorting money from her family. Police
raided madrasa Jamait-ul-Mohsinat and immediately brought her back
to Delhi, against her will.
It was while
casually browsing in a library that Mishra spotted an English
translation of the Holy Koran. “We did not have a very religious
upbringing. But after reading the Koran, I wanted to know more about
the religion. Since I had time after completing my MD, I started
searching on Islam on the Internet,” Mishra—now Dr Zainab—said.
She posted a
question on Islam on a discussion forum on Orkut to which IBM
engineer Mohammed Yaseen replied. Mishra was impressed with his
reply and the two got talking. Months later Mishra left her house
and started living alone at Ramanujan Guest House in Karol Bagh.
She took the
final call to convert and left Delhi. “I am glad that both Mohammed
Yaseen and Shaji Yusuf have been freed by the court (last week). It
might have taken long but it is over,” she said over the phone from
after she was brought from Jamait-Ul-Mohsinat Madrassa, the Delhi
Police special cell officers tried convincing her to write a
statement indicting both Mohammed Yaseen and Shaji Yusuf. But she
remained firm and it was her statement under Section 164 of CrPC,
which opened the way to freedom for the two engineers.
For months she
remained confined to her Durgapur, West Benegal residence. In March
last year, she broke all her ties and completed her transition from
Dr Madhumita Mishra to Zainab. “I feel safe in hijab, like I have a
protective layer on me,” she said. She does miss her family, but
certainly is not lonely. “I have so much to do the entire day. I
spend most of the time reading up on Islam,” she said.
Looking back at the tumultuous two-years, she wants to forget it
all. “Islam teaches to forgive, so I have already forgiven my former
husband and the police too,” she said.
Indian Express Group)