25 April, 2009

Teacher gets custody of children who were converted by hubby

IPOH: The High Court here has granted kindergarten teacher M. Indira Gandhi interim custody of her three children and an injunction preventing her husband from entering their home.

It is the first victory for the 34-year-old woman who is battling to have her children returned to her and to ensure that they remained Hin­­dus, and not Muslim converts.

Judicial Commissioner Ridwan Ib­­ra­­him, who presided over the matter in chambers yesterday, also ordered the police to assist Indira Gandhi in carrying out the court orders.

He set May 12 for an inter parte hearing of the matter to allow Indira Gandhi’s husband, K. Patmanathan, 40, to give his side of the story.

Indira Gandhi’s counsel Augustine Anthony said that the matter of the children’s religion would be handled at a later date, pending the court’s decision after May 12.

A tearful Indira Gandhi said she was happy with the outcome and would be happier once all her children were with her.

In Indira Gandhi’s supporting affidavit, she claimed that on April 4, Patmanathan stormed into her house in First Garden here, used force against her and their children Tevi Darsiny, 12, Karan Dinish, 11, and Prasana Diksa, one, before taking off with the three children’s birth certificates and the youngest daughter.

Indira Gandhi later discovered her husband had converted to Islam on March 11 and was now known as Mohd Ridzuan Abdullah.

Indira Gandhi also claimed her children’s schools were notified by the Syariah Department that her children had been converted and now had Muslim names.

-Clara Chooi, The Star Online

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