KOCHI: The struggle of Shereena, a native of Perinthalmanna, who managed to break the barriers raised by religion and decided to live with the person she loves, has provided hope to the people who are caught between love and the arrogance of society. Shereena, a guest lecturer, was locked in her room by her brothers for refusing to practice their religion and her decision to marry a man belonging to another community.
On Thursday, she managed to access her Facebook page and informed her friends and relatives about her ordeal. Help poured in from all quarters and a team from the Perinthalmanna police reached her house on Friday. With the help of friends and social workers, Shereena lodged a police complaint and found a safe dwelling place.
“Though I was born in a Muslim family, I discarded religion and became a free thinker six years ago. I had posted a photo with my lover on my Facebook page, which created a hue and cry. People started criticising me for not covering my head, wearing a sleeveless shirt and wearing a bindi on my forehead. Some people even said I had eloped. I have four brothers and two sisters. They confronted me for questioning the religion,” said Shereena. Shereena said her elder brother snatched the phone, tried to strangulate and even threatened to kill her. “I was living in fear during the past five days. It was the intervention of my father and mother that saved my life. On Friday, a friend called me and it was my brother who attended the call. I screamed and managed to convey that my life was in danger. The friend informed the Perinthalmanna police who rescued me,” she said.
On Saturday, Shereena took to the Facebook informing her well-wishers that she was safe. “There is no need for concern. I have realised the love and strength of the ideology that upholds humanity during these days. People I never met came forward offering protection and legal help. My mother is with me and I am sure she will accept me. I have decided to go ahead with my decision. I am enjoying the fresh air of freedom,” she wrote.
Shereena’s Facebook post August 29, 2019
“I am safe. I was being tortured mentally and physically by my brothers for the past one week. It is my defiance of the religious strictures and relationship with a non-Muslim that annoyed them. Last day, my elder brother strangled me, pulled me by the hair and assaulted me for my defiance. Another brother, who is also a religious scholar, said the sacred texts teach to kill people who leave Islam. My elder brother’s wife said the Kevin murder case was proved as the assailants left evidence and they know how to finish me without leaving any evidence. I will not commit suicide. I will fight for my right. I am going to lodge a complaint with the police. If something happens to me, my brothers and relatives will be responsible for it.