Malaysian Indian woman wants child back from husband (Lead)

Ipoh (Malaysia), April 26 (Inditop) A Malaysian Indian woman is still searching for her child, snatched by her husband who converted to Islam and abandoned the family. Her plight led to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s cabinet deciding that children shall follow the faith of their parents at the time of marriage, and not change even if a parent converts.

Kindergarten teacher M. Indira Gandhi is spending sleepless nights at the Ipoh police district headquarters, waiting for her one-year old baby Prasana Diksha to be returned to her, a media report said.

She was breast-feeding the infant when it was forcibly taken away by her husband a month ago. She is worried about how the child is doing.

Forty-year-old K. Patmanabhan, now known as Mohammed Ridzuan Abdullah, had called Gandhi up to say that he was “on his way to Singapore”, Star Online reported.

Police wants Gandhi to find him, but she counters: “If I could locate him, I definitely would have gone and brought my baby straight home. What are the police for?”

She has been there ever since the High Court in Perak state granted her interim custody of her three children and an injunction preventing her husband from entering their home.

On Friday, Judicial Commissioner Ridwan Ibrahim had also ordered the police to assist Gandhi, 34, in enforcing the orders.

Gandhi’s case caused Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s cabinet to decide that the faith of a child shall remain the same as that of the parents at the time of the marriage, and not change even if a parent converts.

Gandhi and her husband are Tamil Hindus who form a bulk of the two million ethnic Indian community that is eight percent of Malaysia’s 25 million population.