Spotlight back on Kerala ‘love jihad’ case after SC order: The story so far
The investigation, to be conducted under the supervision of retired Supreme Court judge Justice RV Raveendran, pertains to the marriage of 27-year-old Gulf returnee Shefin Jehan with Akhila Ashokan alias Hadiya (24), a Hindu woman who had embraced Islam.india Updated: Aug 16, 2017 16:45 IST
The annulled marriage between a Muslim man and a Hindu woman converted to Islam in Kerala has come under the spotlight yet again, with the Supreme Court asking the National Investigation Agency on Wednesday to probe if there is a “love jihad” angle to the case.
The investigation, to be conducted under the supervision of retired Supreme Court judge Justice RV Raveendran, pertains to the marriage of 27-year-old Gulf returnee Shefin Jehan with Akhila Ashokan alias Hadiya (24), a Hindu woman who had embraced Islam. The marital alliance was later annulled by the Kerala high court. Discounting Hadiya’s statement that she was not forcibly converted, the court stated that the possibility of the marriage being part of a love jihad plot should be subject to a high-level probe.
- Dec 19: Akhila Ashokan alias Hadiya and Sefin Jehan get married.
- Dec 22: Haduya’s father moves Kerala high court.
- Dec 23: Hadiya appears before HC, says she converted to Islam in August.
- Father says she was indoctrinated while pursuing her studies.
- High court sends Hadyia to a girls’ hostel, asks police to probe alleged love jihad.
- May 24: After hearing police, HC annulls marriage, sends Hadiya to parents’ custody.
- Aug 16: SC orders NIA to probe the case.
The story so far
Hadiya, a homeopathy doctor, had married Jehan on December 19 last year. Two days later, the woman’s father – ex-serviceman KM Ashokan – filed an affidavit before the high court alleging that his son-in-law was part of a fundamentalist outfit, and involved in three criminal cases.
Though Hadiya appeared before the court on December 23 and stated that she had converted to Islam in August that year, her father claimed that she was “indoctrinated” much earlier – while pursuing her education in Coimbatore. Ashokan also claimed that the marriage was part of a larger Islamic State conspiracy, and Hadiya could be sent to Syria like 21 others before her.
Following this, the court instructed the police to probe the allegations levelled by Ashokan.
On May 24, after the police had filed their report in the case, the high court annulled the marriage and sent Hadiya back to her parents.
An aggrieved Jehan moved the apex court in an attempt to establish his conjugal rights in July, terming the action taken against them as “a serious rights violation”.
What is love jihad?
Love jihad, a term said to be coined by Hindu fundamentalists, is an alleged activity through which Muslim youth target women belonging to non-Muslim communities for conversion to Islam by feigning love. However, the existence of such a phenomenon continues to remain under question.