Taliban takeover: Mother of Keralite woman lodged in Kabul jail cries for help

"I haven't hidden anything from the government authorities (about Nimisha). This is the 1882th day of my efforts to rescue my daughter", said Bindu Sampath

Photo: Mathrubhumi News( Screen Grab)

Thiruvananthapuram: 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 a couple of years ago, on Monday said she was concerned about her daughter's safety after the Taliban captured power in that country and hoped that the Central government will make efforts to bring her back to India.

"I don't know what to do. I believe that she is still in jail there (in Kabul). I appeal to the Central government to make efforts to bring her back to India," Bindu Sampath, Fathima's mother, said expressing anguish over the safety of her daughter following Taliban taking over that country after the collapse of the government there.

Appealing to the media to bring the matter to the notice of the government authorities, Sampath said, "this is the pain of a mother....this is an emergency situation. I hope the government will take steps to deport her to India," she said.

Bindu Sampath said she had been constantly sending emails to the central government authorities and contacted the office of Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan, who hails from Kerala, requesting their intervention to bring her daughter back to India and put her under trial in the country for her crime as per the law of the land.

"I haven't hidden anything from the government authorities (about Nimisha). This is the 1882th day of my efforts to rescue my daughter", Bindu Sampath told PTI.

After 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, some of their families have sought the legal route seeking the centre's intervention.

Nimisha Fatima 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, Bindu Sampath had said she feared that her daughter would fall into the hands of Taliban once US troops withdrew from Afghanistan.

"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 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 had said.

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.

The father of Sonia Sebastian alias Ayisha has approached the Supreme Court seeking a directive to the Centre to take steps to repatriate her daughter and 7-year-old granddaughter.


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