KOZHIKODE: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, on Monday, promised intervention in the case of Rubeena, held captive in the Maldives for more than four years. He said that though his office was in touch with the High Commission over the issue of another Keralite, Rubeena’s plight had not come to his notice.
The victim’s parents will personally present the request to him in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday.
The chief minister added that steps would be taken to ensure that prospective job-seekers to the Maldives were aware of the legal complications there. Recruitments are being carried out to various services in the Maldives, mostly without much knowledge of the rules and regulations there. The cases of people getting trapped in fake cases often do not reach the mainstream due to the restrictions on the media and the hindrance before other Indian associations in contacting the victims in prisons.
The plight of Rubeena and other Indians came to light after the recent release of Jayachandran Mokeri, a school teacher from Kozhikode.
“Even the Indian Club officials in the Maldives were not able to contact me, though they tried through different sources. The only agency that can contact them is the Indian Embassy. But they are often indifferent to the unfortunate inmates. Once I was even asked, why do you people choose to work in the Maldives,” he said.
Rubeena was arrested on charges of killing her 10-month-old son and she was held without trial until December last year. A hearing was done and the next is slated to be held on January 11.
The family is not hopeful of the hearings in the Maldivian courts, as they do not allow international lawyers and language becomes a barrier when statements are collected, though there are interpreters.
The victim was married off to a Maldivian national, Hassan Jabir, on July 28, 2008 in an infamous ‘Malekalyanam.’ Rarely, poor girls from Kerala and neighbouring states are married off to grooms from Arab nations (Arabikalyanam), Mysore (Mysorekalyanam) and Maldives, where the grooms offer money and gifts in return.
Hassan had given them financial aid and had offered to pay off their debts. The marriage turned out to be a trap for the poor fishermen family from Odayam, Varkala.
Rubeena and Hassan had visited Varkala with the kid in February 2010 and stayed in a rented house in Thiruvananthapuram for 10 days. However, things turned worse when they went back to the Maldives and Rubeena questioned her husband’s intimacy with another woman, also hailing from Kerala.
Rubeena’s mother Shefeeqa and family have not seen Rubeena since that time. Rubeena is 30 now. The baby was found dead the day after Rubeena and Hassan fought over the latter’s relationship. She was accused of killing the child.
Rubeena was forced to sign a consent for divorce, two years after she was jailed, under the promise that she would be taken back to her homeland safely. But her mother says that was a trap.