19 May, 2021

'Cops Tortured Me'

Set free a year ago, she can't leave jail for want of Rs 20,000

'Cops Tortured Me'

MARIAM Rasheeda, the Maldives national who was arrested in connection with the ISRO spy scandal and then set free a year ago, is languishing in a Kerala prison for want of the Rs 20,000 bail money. Embittered about her India experience and alleging police harassment, she says she can never forget the ordeal of the past two years. "I landed in jail only because I did not agree to have sex with Inspector Vijayan (he manned the Foreigners' Registration Office cell). I had gone to see him to extend my visa. I had confirmed air tickets to leave India but flights were cancelled. Vijayan took my passport and the tickets. Some days later he came to my hotel room and asked my friend Fouzia to wait outside... he came and stood close to me and put his arm around my shoulder. I pushed him away and asked him to get out...."

Inspector Vijayan claims he impounded Rasheeda's visa on grounds of national security. He says telephone print-outs obtained from Hotel Samrat indicated that Rasheeda was in frequent touch with ISRO scientist Sasikumar,...

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