Kerala to Kashmir, a tale of love and betrayal.

via published on February 18, 2012

KOCHI: A Christian girl from Fort Kochi, who converted to Islam to marry a Kashmiri boy she fell in love with, has approached the Kerala High Court to get back her estranged lover.

Merin Godsey from Veli fell in love with Muhammed Sikhander Gora from Anzimar Khanyar in Srinagar while working at a jewellery shop in Fort Kochi. They decided to get married once she accepted Gora’s pre-condition that she converted to Islam before the wedding.

Ignoring her parents’ objection, Merin went to Srinagar with Gora and approached mufti azam, or head clergyman of Jammu and Kashmir, at Shah Faisal Colony at Soura. Based on a declaration by Merin, the mufti certified that she had been converted to Islam on June 12, 2010 and would henceforth be called Maryam.

Four days later, their wedding was held in the customary manner at Kashmir Mahal in Srinagar and Maryam settled in with Gora’s family, which comprised his father Nazir Ahammed Gora, mother, brother, sister and co-brother.

Trouble began brewing two months into the marriage when the wedding of Gora’s sister Neelofer came up. Gora’s father took away the 30 sovereigns of gold and Rs 1 lakh in cash that Maryam had brought along with her. When she protested, Gora senior threatened that he would get his son divorce her. She was routinely subjected to abuse, and it even got physical when her husband was not at home.

Finally, unable to bear it, Maryam returned to Kochi on November 27, 2010 only to learn that her father had died a week after her marriage due to heart attack and that her mother wouldn’t accept her as she had got converted.

Undeterred, she took a house on rent, where she was visited by Gora on September 3 last year. After staying for 10 days, Gora went back to Srinagar telling her that he needed to visit his parents. That was the last she heard from him. In her petition to the High Court, Maryam contends that Gora is being detained by his family members who want him to divorce her.

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