Woman Goes Missing, Tutor Whatsapps Her Conversion And Nikah Papers To Her Father

The woman was rescued after intervention by child commission

On 22 November, 2019, a family in Bihar’s Begusarai district gave a written complaint to Muffasil police station’s Dumri block chowki that their minor daughter had gone missing two days previously from her coaching centre.

The complaint (see image below) said they suspected her tutor to be her kidnapper based on the information they had gathered at the centre. The letter said that their 17-year-old daughter had been kidnapped by her tutor, Mohammad Jaseem alias Sameer, on 20 November.

The complaint, by the girl’s mother, said that on November 20, her daughter left home around 9:30 am for Sameer Coaching Centre, as per her daily schedule. When she did not return by 12:30 pm, the mother went to the centre. She was informed that the girl had left the centre with the owner, Mohammad Jaseem alias Sameer, only an hour ago. Since then, there has been no trace of the girl.

The police filed a first information report (number 612/19) and booked the accused under IPC sections 366 (procuration of minor girl, punishable with imprisonment up to ten years) and 364 (kidnapping or abducting in order to murder, punishable with imprisonment up to ten years).

Till weeks, there was no information about the girl.

The girl’s family told us that the police were making no efforts to find their daughter and even ignored whatever information the family had unearthed so far.

In their own probe, the family found documents showing that a year ago, the girl had converted to Islam, had her name changed, and married to Jaseem. The girl is a Hindu and belongs to Mahto caste.

The conversion certificate, issued by one Madina mosque in Vijaynagar area of Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad district, is dated 25 August 2018. It said she has “renounced his/her present religion and has embraced Muslim religion without any force, pressure, inducement or influence”. Her new name is mentioned as Najma Khatoon.

The certificate did not mention her age. The nikahnama too had name of the same mosque. Ghaziabad is about a thousand kilometres from Begusarai.

See the conversion certificate from the mosque below:

See the nikahnama below:

The family also found a notorised affidavit by the girl saying that she is 19 years old, has embraced Islam as per her free will, changed her name to Nazma Khatoon and performed nikah with Mohammad Jaseem in a mosque in Lakhminia on 27 August, 2018 (picture below).

The family kept telling the police the girl is still a minor. They produced her Aadhaar card that showed her date of birth as 27 February 2002, which made her 17 years of age in 2019. It’s to be noted that her age on the affidavit is mentioned as 27 February 2000.

See the Aadhaar card below:

“When we did not find the girl for two days, we went to the tutor’s house and confronted his mother. She brought a heap of papers, telling us that Jaseem had married the girl and will return in some time,” the girl’s uncle told us.

The family also found that Jaseem had filed a ‘sanah’ in the Begusarai district court against the girl’s father on 26 June 2019, saying that girl’s family had been pressuring the couple to separate against the girl’s wishes. This document gives Jaseem’s age as 26.

When the case was reported by us, an activist, AS Santosh, who introduced himself as working president of a non-government organisation named Legal Rights Protection Forum, took note of it approached the national child commission on 30 November. Santosh also wrote to top cops in Bihar and the national women commission, but said he received no reply.

On 2 December, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) aka child commission sent a letter to the Begusarai police chief to be present in its New Delhi office on 10 December with an inquiry report into the case.

The Begusarai police asked for time, and the commission rescheduled the submission to 16 December.

But on 13 December, Jaseem sent a series of messages to the girl’s family on WhatsApp. The messages contained images of the girl’s religious conversion and nikah papers as well as a few, short, mobile-shot videos of her.

In the videos, the girl is seen telling the family that it was she who forced Jaseem to run away with her, and her family should now mind their own business. She says she is 20 years old and free to take decisions on her marriage and life.

The girl’s uncle told us that Jaseem had sent the messages from one of the two mobile numbers that the family had mentioned in their police complaint.

In one of the videos, the girl is seen saying (as translated), “I married him a year ago. My family knows it. But they did not agree to it. So I told him to take me somewhere. When I forced him, he brought me here. His family has made no mistake. Nobody has forced me to do anything. I have married on my own will. I want to live happily with him.”

In another video, she is saying, “Main inko bhaga ke layi hun. Main zor zabardasti kiya hun. Kya karoge? (I made him elope. I forced him to do this. What will you do?).”

Mujhe dhoondne ki kohish mat karo. Tum log apna apna kaam karo. Zyada dimaag mat lagao (don’t try to look for me. Do your own work. Try not to overthink,” she says.

In one of the videos, she says her tutor was unwilling to elope but she forced him to, telling him that she would handle everything. “…kya kami hai ladke mein? Ye kya Hindu Muslim laga rakha hai (What does the boy lack? Why are you doing this Hindu-Muslim thing),” she says.

Watch the videos (we have blurred her face) below. There were five such videos, but we are sharing parts of two.

Another document shared by Jaseem on Whatsapp was a hand-written letter by the girl to Muffasil police, saying that she is around 20 years old and had married Jaseem willingly. It said the police should not entertain any complaint filed by her family. The letter is dated 25 November 2019.

The girl’s father told us that he works at a construction site in Chennai and his wife and daughter live with the latter’s maternal uncle in Begusarai. He said he had no inkling of what was brewing in his daughter’s life. “The boy has brainwashed her. Her videos suggest she is reading a scripted answer,” he said.

On 16 December, when the Begusarai police was scheduled to give a report to the child rights body, the police gave no response. The commission then sent summons to the Begusarai Superintendent of Police (SP) to appear before it in New Delhi on 20 December.

The SP talked to the commission via video conferencing. The NCPCR chief Priyank Kanoongo asked the SP To give a day-to-day progress report. The girl was finally rescued on 24 December.

Awakash Kumar, Begusarai SP, told us over the phone that the girl was recovered from Ghaziabad.

The NCPCR chairman congratulated us on Twitter:

Update: After the girl’s rescue, the police added IPC section 420 (fraud) in the case against Jaseem. By the time this report was published, the girl’s statement to the magistrate had not been taken and medical test not been done.

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