Guwahati: The controversial second marriage of Assam Congress MLA from Borkhola Dr Rumi Nath and her bold conversion to Islam before marrying her Facebook friend has sparked a communal tension in Guwahati.
The Borkhola MLA made headlines after her first husband Rakesh Kumar Singh lodged a police complaint alleging that Rumi was kidnapped from Silchar Medical College and Hospital where she had gone for a medical check-up recently.
However, it was later reported that Nath had willingly eloped with her Facebook friend Jackie Zakir and converted to Islam before marrying him.
Adding an interesting twist to the story, the MLA herself admitted before newsmen on Tuesday that she had entered into wedlock for the second time on April 13 this year with 27-year-old Zakir Hussain alias Jackie.
Zakir Hussain is a resident of Badarpur and works as a clerk in Mohakol Block in Karimganj district.
During the press briefing, she told reporters that she was married in accordance with the Islamic tradition and her new name after conversion to Islamism was Rebia Sultana.
"I want to clarify that I was not under any compulsion to convert to Islam and marry my friend Zakir. I am staying willingly with my husband Zakir. Our minister Siddique Ji arranged the two qazis, Qazi Usman Ali and Qazi Nazrul Islam for the marriage. I want to thank him for his help. I have not married under any compulsion,” she said.
When quizzed about her reported disappearance, she said that she has gone out of the state with her new husband for few days.
Unable to believe the rumours of her wife’s second marriage, Rakesh Kumar Singh alleged that his wife has been held hostage by a gang of criminals, who have pressurized her to admit before newsmen that she has converted to Islam and married for a second time.
Interestingly, the MLA has also earlier rubbished reports about her rumoured second marriage by saying that she was the victim of infighting in the Congress, and all the rumours were the handiwork of a section of her political rivals.
The controversial 32-year old MLA had disappeared on May 13 from the hospital and resurfaced after a few hours, claiming that she had converted to Islam in order to marry Zakir.
Meanwhile, Zakir`s father Faizur Rahman, a former police officer, made it clear that his family would never accept Rumi as their daughter-in-law.
Rahman has also lodged an FIR in Badarpur Police Station about his son’s disappearance.
Rumi has a two-year old daughter, Ritambhara, from her first marriage with Rakesh Singh.
Rumi’s reported marriage with Zakir has cause widespread outrage among the Hindu community in Silchar.
Considering the sensitivity of the matter, CRPF troops have been deployed in and around Silchar to thwart any attempt at communal violence because of this conversion.
Gairik Bharat, a saffron outfit, burnt her the effigy to protest the conversion. Other Hindu organizations are also planning protests over this inner-community marriage.
If sources are to be believed, an influential Assam Minister Siddique Ahmad played a key role in Rumi Nath’s nikah with Zakir. The minister also arranged for two qazis to conduct the Islamic wedding.
Rumi met Zakir in the Facebook, and their friendship grew deeper through chatting, and finally they decided to get married.