Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government has no role in bringing back four widows of Islamic State fighters from the state languishing in a jail in Afghanistan and it was an issue to be decided by the Centre, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Monday. Responding to a query on the Centre’s alleged disinterest in bringing them back to India, Vijayan told reporters here that it was a matter to be decided by the Centre and the state government has nothing to do with it.
According to him, a stand is needed to be taken onthe matter considering it as an issue of the nation. Noting that the women from the state are jailed in Afghanistan, the chief minister also said “it is needed to know if they are ready to come to India. Their family’s opinion should also be sought.” Vijayan said the Centre should take a decision considering all these matters.
It was on March 15 last year that a video was released by a Delhi-based website, showing four Keralite women— Nimisha Fathima, Rafeela, Soniya Sebastian and Merrin Jacob- purportedly expressing their interest to return to India. In the video, the women were purportedly 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.
Nimisha Fathima’s mother has expressed hope that the Centre will pardon her daughter and bring her back to India. She was reacting to reports that the Central government was allegedly not interested in bringing back her daughter and three other IS widows of Indian origin, now lodged in a Kabul jail..