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Saturday, Aug 17, 2019

Bengal’s triple talaq crusader Ishrat Jahan’s children go missing, she alleges kidnap by ex-husband

Ishrat Jahan alleged on Thursday that her children were kidnapped by her former husband Murtaza Ansari. She said her daughter Shaista Khatoon (13) and son Zaid Alam (7) went to play in the neighbourhood at 11 am and did not return.

kolkata Updated: Aug 31, 2017 22:23 IST
Tanmay Chatterjee
Tanmay Chatterjee
Hindustan Times
Ishrat Jahan’s complaint at Golabari police station says her daughter and son were kidnapped on Thursday morning.
Ishrat Jahan’s complaint at Golabari police station says her daughter and son were kidnapped on Thursday morning.(Samir Jana/HT PHOTO)

Ishrat Jahan, Bengal’s crusader against instant triple talaq, brought kidnap charge against her former husband Murtaza Ansari after her daughter and son went out with their father for almost eight hours without informing her.

Jahan’s daughter Shaista Khatoon (13) and son Zaid Alam (7) “disappeared”on Thursday morning from the Pilkhana area in Howrah town where she lives with her sister-in-law and the latter’s husband. Murtaza, who took the children to Burdwan to meet some relatives, returned to the Golabari police station in the evening after the police called him up.

The children, who “went missing” after leaving home around 11 am, appeared happy after they returned, said T Pandey, inspector-in-charge, Golabari police station.

“We are not arresting anyone right now because the children said they went with their father willingly. We have recorded their statements under Section 161 of CrPC and will produce them before the district child welfare committee (CWC) on Friday morning,” said a district police officer.

Read: Triple talaq verdict: Crusader Ishrat Jahan faces threats, seeks help from Mamata Banerjee

The children were returned to their mother by the police on Thursday night. Jahan identified them around 9 pm. “Since they were taken away without her consent and without giving her any intimation we are not withdrawing the kidnap charge,” said Nazia Elahi Khan, the lawyer who represented Jahan in the Triple Talaq case.

Jahan (31) alleged in her police complaint that Murtaza Ansari - who now lives in Dubai with his second wife - was in Kolkata. She also alleged that her sister-in-law Zubina Khatoon and her husband Mustafa Ansari were involved in the kidnapping.

Jahan’s two elder daughters live with Murtaza Ansari who delivered a telephonic triple talaq from Dubai in April 2014.

“We are yet to find any evidence that points at forceful kidnapping. The children appear to have left with a member of the family. We are investigating the matter,” T Pandey, told HT in the afternoon when Jahan filed her complaint. After this the police called up Mustafa Ansari who said the children were with their father. The police asked Mustafa to call up Murtaza and get in touch with Golabari police station.

Murtaza called up the police station and said he was in Burdwan with their children. Murtaza was asked to return immediately.

Read: Triple talaq verdict: Meet the five women who fought to stop instant divorce

“Last night my daughter had gone to my sister-in-law’s room to keep some clothes. She heard the couple saying something about sending away the children. How can they do this?” said Jahan.

Jahan claimed she has been facing threats from her neighbours ever since the Supreme Court set aside the controversial Islamic practice of instant divorce or, Talaq-e-Biddat. Jahan is one of the five women whose petitions were heard by the apex court.

Six days ago she sought security cover from Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. Incidentally, neither Banerjee nor the ruling Trinamool Congress has so far made any comment on the judgement and opposition parties have reacted strongly to this silence. “Till Thursday the state took no action on her prayer for security,” said Khan.

Read: Jharkhand woman alleges husband gave her triple talaq a day after SC outlawed practice

Jahan said her sister-in-law disconnected the electricity connection to her room and people in the area were planning a social boycott. Though she has been living in the Muslim neighbourhood for years, local people reacted after the media splashed the news of her victory and aired her interview. Nazia Elahi Khan, said she too was being trolled on social media since August 22.

With no job and nowhere to go, Jahan wrote a letter to chief minister Mamata Banerjee seeking security for herself and her children. “My daughter and son are scared. They never faced a situation like this. People pass nasty comments whenever I step out. I am not asking for financial support. The state government can at least provide us with security,” Jahan told HT last week.

First Published: Aug 31, 2017 18:50 IST

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