Even now, Bindu thinks her daughter Nimisha (alias Fathima), believed to be one of the 22 Keralites who went missing last year, is safe.
“Nothing will happen to her,” she says.
When Bindu, a native of Thiruvananthapuram’s Attukal, sent her daughter to a private dental college in Kasargod, she had no way of knowing how things would turn out.
She recalls how Nimisha got into a relationship with a man named Sajad, who – along with his mother – took her to a Salafi center in Thiruvananthapuram. Sajad promised to marry her if she converted.
At the time, however, Bindu had no clue what was going on.
But Nimisha ended up marrying some else – a Christian-turned-Muslim named Bexan to whom Sajad introduced her. She was forced to do so, after being told a convert could only marry another convert.
Bindu didn’t approve of the match, but she only saw Nimisha twice after that – once, in Bexan’s house, and once in her own home, when he and her daughter visited.
It was during the second visit that Bexan hinted they would move abroad for business. Bindu was reluctant to send her then-pregnant daughter along.
But the couple left for Sri Lanka, and kept in touch through WhatsApp for a few weeks. And then, after June 5, nothing.
DAUGHTER GOES INCOMMUNICADO
When Bindu asked Bexan’s family about this, the response she got was shocking.
“You will never get your daughter back, she is in Afghanistan, she will be used as (a) human bomb”, Bexan’s step-mother told her.
Nimisha gave birth on August 18.
On November 12, Bexan told his family he was in Nagerhale, and that the women in his group were somewhere else.
Since then, Bindu hasn’t received any information about her daughter or the others in her group.
She doesn’t know what the future holds, but she still looks forward to holding her daughter in her arms again.