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Two years on, Madhumita is Zainab

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New Delhi: 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.


As journeys go, this one was not smooth, and it took her through Delhi Police special cell’s interrogation rooms and courtrooms.


She left 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.


Four days later, her husband Subhijay Sinha filed a complaint with the police claiming she had been kidnapped by a fundamentalist group based in Bangalore.


Delhi Police’s 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 Andhra Pradesh.


For weeks 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.

(Courtesy: Indian Express Group)








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