NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 28 The police stand in the case of Dr Madhumita Mishra, who they allege was abducted by an IBM engineer and held in confinement in a Bangalore madrasa, weakened after a madrasa official’s statement that Mishra was allowed to keep and use her mobile even though other students there weren’t allowed to do so.
It was the police itself that produced the madrasa official’s statement on the court’s instruction that they investigate the role of the madrasa in the case in which two techies, Mohammad Yaseen of IBM and Shaji Yusuf of Intel, were arrested. The two are now in judicial custody till October 2 and the court is to decide on their bail tomorrow.
Mishra, a doctor at Lok Nayak Jay Prakash Hospital, Delhi, is married to Subijay Sinha, an ophthalmologist. Sinha lives in Kolkata, while Mishra has been living with her brother in Noida.
She met Yaseen via Orkut, the networking site, through forum discussions on Islam, after which police sayshe left her brother’s Noida home and lived in a guest house before boarding a flight to Bangalore on September 3 to meet Yaseen. Sinha had filed a police complaint on September 7 naming Yaseen and saying that he feared his wife was being confined by some fundamentalist group. He also alleged that Yaseen had demanded Rs 10 lakh when he sought his wife’s whereabouts.
Delhi Police’s Special Cell found her in the madrasa. They arrested Yaseen for the abduction and Yusuf for helping him. Yaseen and Yusuf are friends who had studied together at an engineering college in Kollam.
The statement of Dr Mustaq Ahmed, who runs the madrasa, says: “According to our rules, no student is allowed to carry mobile phones but we allowed Madhumita Mishra to use one as she was a new convert.”
It goes on to say: “Yaseen brought the woman to the madrasa and asked for permission for her stay for few days. By rules, those who embrace the religion have to stay in the madrasa for 30 days. We told her the rules clearly.”
The statement says that the madrasa is meant for women and Yaseen wasn’t staying with Mishra.
Dr Ahmed also says in the statement: “Had I known that the woman was slated to go abroad for a job I might not have allowed to keep her in the madrasa.”
Defence lawyers, meanwhile, submitted the affidavit signed by Mishra, which she gave madrasa before she was admitted. A copy of the affidavit is with The Indian Express. It says she had embraced Islam of her own free will and changed her name to Momina.
A Delhi police team is still stationed in Bangalore for further investigations….
Techie fights kidnap stain
OUR LEGAL CORRESPONDENT
New Delhi, Feb. 23: A former Intel engineer accused of kidnapping a woman doctor for extortion linked to “fundamentalist activity” has moved Delhi High Court to quash the charge.
Bangalore-based Shaji Yusuf, 31, denied helping his friend, former IBM engineer Mohammed Yaseen, lure Dr Madhumita Mishra of Delhi to their hometown and abduct her.
Main accused Yaseen, 32, had befriended Mishra over the social networking site Facebook at a time her marriage was under strain, according to the first information report filed by the doctor’s husband in Delhi.
A few months ago, the duo induced her to move to Bangalore, forced her to convert to Islam and held her captive in a madarsa, Subijay Sinha’s FIR says.
Yaseen was arrested in Bangalore and brought to Delhi. When Yusuf arrived in the capital to look for him, he was arrested, too. Both are out on bail but have lost their jobs.
During the bail hearing at a Delhi court, the public prosecutor had alleged that Yaseen had got Mishra to convert by promising her a plush job in West Asia. He had also allegedly contacted Mishra’s sister Rachna and asked for a Rs 10-lakh ransom.
Yusuf said he had come to Delhi to be at Yaseen’s side after learning that his friend was being detained for 15 days and would face trial for a crime he had not committed.
His plea for quashing of the charges (only against him) cites Mishra’s police statement after the cops brought her back from the Bangalore madarsa, alleged to have terror links.
The prosecution said Mishra had indeed been confined against her will and her mobile had been taken away. But the doctor said she had been staying in the madarsa of her own will.
Yusuf’s petition says Mishra’s statement does not even mention him — it names only Yaseen.
“Although the petitioner has no role in the alleged crime and the same has also been admitted by Mishra… he is made guilty of the alleged offence and has been labelled a co-conspirator,” the petition said.
While granting him bail, the court had asked Yusuf to surrender his passport and told him he needed police permission to go abroad.
Yusuf’s petition says he graduated in electrical engineering from TKM Engineering College at Kollam, in his home state of Kerala, and had worked with Intel till December 2007.
Coincidentally, another electrical engineer from Kerala, who too had worked with leading IT companies in Bangalore, was arrested on terror charges on February 22. The police said Yahya Khan, 33, who had worked for Tata Infotech and General Electric, was part of a militant sleeper cell of “educated” young men.
Behind jailed engineers, a strained marriage, promise of faith
New Delhi, Bangalore, September 26 “By treating my patients, how am I serving Allah?” this was the statement that started the conversation four months ago between New Delhi doctor Madhumita Mishra and Bangalore-based IBM engineer Mohammed Yaseen. Today, Yaseen, 32, and his 31-year-old friend Intel engineer Shaji Yusuf are in jail, accused by the Delhi police of being at the centre of Mishra’s abduction drama — a charge that police claim could also be linked to “fundamentalist activity.”According to the complaint filed by Mishra’s husband, opthalmologist Subijay Sinha, Yaseen abducted Mishra — his aim was to allegedly extort money — after enticing her to a Bangalore madrasa via a social networking website. Interviews with madrasa officials in Bangalore and Mishra’s statement to a Tis Hazari magistrate, accessed by The Indian Express, point to a story of a strained marriage, a connection over the Internet and the promise of faith which even led to Mishra’s conversion to Islam.
In May 2007, Mishra, who was working as a senior resident in Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Hospital, completed her MD from Maulana Azad Medical College while her husband Sinha did his MD in Opthalmology from AIIMS. While Sinha returned to Kolkata, Mishra stayed back to look for a job. They were married two years and theirs was a “love marriage.”
“I had a strained relation(ship) with my husband,” says Mishra, according to her statement. “I was staying alone at my brother’s place in Noida and my husband was in Kolkata. During that time, I started exploring Orkut, a social networking website. Here, I came across a community ‘Islam and Muslim’ which had 30,000 members. I started posting queries about Islam on the discussion forum. One Feroze Hussain answered my initial questions. Then I asked a question, ‘By treating my patients, how am I serving Allah?’
“To this question, I got a reply from Mohammed Yaseen. I was very impressed by his mail. We initially started interacting through forum, then through scrapbook and later through mails. He was 32, almost my age, and I was impressed with his maturity. He spoke about Islam and discussed the benefits of embracing this religion. He said that death would come soon and, therefore, it’s better to join it. But he said I should convert to Islam only if I am convinced. I was looking a job and I sent him my CV and he promised to get me a job.
“He gave me his mobile number through e-mail and we started talking over phone. On August 28, he sent me a flight ticket through the Internet. I resigned from my LNJP job but did not inform my family about it. I shifted to a guest house in Karol Bagh. On September 3, I flew to Bangalore on an Indigo flight. On reaching Bangalore, his friend Shaji Yusuf was also present. They told me that before I could embrace Islam I have to urgently sign an affidavit. On September 8, I was sent to Dr Mushtaq’s madrasa in Bangalore. I was told that I will have to stay in the madrasa for 40 days and would not be allowed to go out of it during that period. On September 11, Yaseen called me up and asked me to meet him outside the madrasa. There, I saw my husband standing with him,” Mishra’s statement reads.Hearing the engineers’ bail plea today, the court directed the Delhi Police to get a statement from Dr Kareema Mushtaq who runs the Jamiat-ul-Mohsinat madrasa in Bangalore from where Mishra was picked up by the police the same day that Yaseen was arrested. (Yusuf was arrested when he came to Delhi on September 14.)
The madrasa is barely 100 yards from the Sana Nursing Home in Bangalore where Dr Mohammed Haneef, the Indian doctor arrested and later discharged of terrorism charges in Australia, first worked. The head of the Shifa Health Foundation that runs the madrasa, Mushtaq Ahmed, admits that Yaseen brought Mishra to stay at the madrasa but adds that it was of Madhumita’s own volition.
He said he asked Yaseen to produce a legal affidavit showing she was a Muslim and her certificates as a pre-requisite to admitting her. “The girl said she wanted to know more about Islam. They produced the required affidavit and certificates and we had no hesitancy in admitting her. While she was here, she had access to her mobile phone and freedom within the rules,” said Ahmed.
According to records, Yaseen produced a court affidavit stating that Mishra is a Muslim and had taken the name Dr Mumina to get admitted to the madrasa. “She boarded the flight on her own and came from Delhi to Bangalore out of an interest to know the Islamic way of life. How that becomes abduction I don’t know,” said Ahmed.
“Yaseen induced her to convert into Islam by promising her a lucrative job in Middle East,” the public prosecutor told the court in Delhi today. He added that Yaseen had even contacted Mishra’s sister Rachna and asked for Rs 10 lakh as ransom.A software architect in IBM, Yaseen is held in high regard by colleagues and is an online e-mentor for software architecture students. Some of his colleagues are surprised over the ransom charge and point to his over-Rs 10 lakh annual package. “Although radical in appearance, he got along well with everybody. At his work he was very good. He wrote and presented technical papers at conferences on more than one occasion,” a colleague said.
Since his arrest, Yaseen’s wife and child have left the Bangalore apartment they had rented and returned to Kerala.
As for Yusuf’s wife, Hasnat Abu, she denies the allegations: “We are a progressive Muslim family. My husband allowed me to keep my maiden name and keep working. Moreover, I don’t even wear a burqa. How can we be extremists?”…
All the propaganda news articles that were online for about a week, until the reality came out, are removed. Few of the media outlets didn’t even cared to publish the correction.