Four Indian women, who accompanied their husbands to join ISIS, and are currently in a prison in Afghanistan, are not going to be allowed to return to the country, as per the Indian government.
The women travelled to Nangarhar in Afghanistan in the years 2016-18. While their husbands were killed in different attacks in Afghanistan, these women were among thousands of ISIS affiliates who surrendered before the authorities.
A few weeks ago, Ahmad Zia Saraj, the head of the National Directorate of Security told reporters in Kabul that 408 members of the Islamic State from 13 countries are lodged in Afghanistan prisons. This included these four Indians, 16 Chinese, 299 Pakistanis, two Bangladeshis, two from the Maldives among others.
Mr. Saraj also said the Afghanistan government has begun talks with the countries to deport the prisoners.
A source, however, said it was unlikely that they would be allowed to come back to India. The women, accompanied by their children were interviewed by Indian security agencies in Kabul in December 2019, a month after their surrender.
In March 2020, an international website had also published a video of these women. The four women who appeared in the video were identified as Sonia Sebastian alias Ayisha, Raffeala, Merrin Jacob alias Mariyam and Nimisha alias Fathima Isa.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had filed a charge sheet in 2017 after a group of 21 men and women from Kerala, including Sebastian, left India in 2016 in batches to join the ISKP in Afghanistan.
The NIA said Sebastian, from Kasargod in Kerala left India on May 31, 2016, with her husband, Abdul Rashid Abdulla. Sebastian who is an engineering graduate took secret classes, along with her husband, in support of IS and jihad, as propagated by it, during last part of Ramadan.
Merrin Jacob alias Mariyam was married to Bestin Vincent, a resident of Palakkad. Both escaped to Afghanistan in 2016 to live in the IS controlled territory and converted to Islam. Vincent’s brother Bexon and his wife, Nimisha alias Fathima, also converted to Islam and accompanied them.
Reffeala was married to Ijas Kallukettiya Purayil, 37, a physician from Kasargod, who is identified as one of the IS terrorists who stormed a prison in Eastern Afghanistan’s Jalalabad in August 2020. Around 30 persons were killed in the attack.