A 45-year-old man from Malappuram district has complained that his ‘wife’ and son were forcibly converted to Islam by a group of people in his neighbourhood. The man, PT Gilbert, also alleged that he was expelled from CPM as he took the matter with the party. However, the party maintained that he was expelled for ‘misdemeanour unbefitting to a party member’.
According to Gilbert, his 40-year-old ‘second wife’ and 13-year-old son were “forcefully converted" and are now “in the custody of Tharbiyathul Islamic Center", a religious study centre based in Kozhikode. He alleged that some of his neighbours offered his wife Rs 25 lakh, a house and five cents of land for religious conversion.
The father of three children, originally from Iritty in Kannur District was a member of the Nirolpal Branch of the CPM and a member of the Angadippuram area Committee of CITU. He moved to Thenhippalam, near Calicut University campus, 120 kilometres from his native after his second marriage.
“I was happily married to two women, who are sisters from Kottiyoor in Kannur. I married the second one four years after my marriage with her sister, three years elder to her, some 19 years ago. I moved to Thenhippalam after my second marriage as the local people failed to take it in good spirit," he told News18.
Gilbert, who acknowledged that his second marriage is not legal, said there was no misunderstanding between the two ‘wives’ who lived at a distance of about three kilometres. “I had to move from my native some 15 years ago as we were in deep love and she (younger sister) could not leave me. It was their brother who brought us here. My voters’ id was at the address of her residence. Her voters’ ID has my name in place of husband," he said.
According to him, his wife who converted to Islam recently were regulars in Church. “My first wife and two children live at Kohinoor and the other at Nirolpalam. Though I was not a strong believer, my kids and family were attached to the Church. One of them (wives) used to go to a church in Kondotty and the other used to go to one near Kohinoor," he said.
Gilbert said there was no altercation between the woman and she left him for ‘the offer’ from the group. He alleged that a group including a person who runs a bakery shop where his wife used to work and women named Bushra were instrumental in converting his wife and son. “I work as a taxi driver. As I left for work, the neighbourhood Muslim women visited the house and influenced her. There were regular phone calls to her from them and two of them are from CPM. Some 15 days ago I learned that she had plans to convert and warned her against the move," Gilbert said.
He added that his party expelled him instead of offering support when he asked to save his wife and son from forced religious conversion. “I have given complaints to SP, Chief Minister and the Union Home Minister," he said.
However, CPM made it clear that his expulsion from the party has no connection with his allegations. “He was living in a manner not suited for a party member. We came to know about this only recently and the party expelled him for indiscipline. The decision was taken by the branch committee which he was a member and it was approved by the local committee. His allegations are baseless as the woman and her son have made a statement in the court that they acted on her own will," CPM Malappuram District Committee secretary EN Mohandas told News18.com.