Kerala ‘love jihad’ case: Hadiya’s father files complaint against activist Rahul Eswar
Hadiya Jahan’s father, Ashokan, said Rahul Eswar released a video of his daughter which was shot without their permission.india Updated: Aug 23, 2017 14:44 IST
The family of a Kerala woman, whose marriage with a Muslim man is under scanner as a possible case of ‘love jihad’, has filed a police complaint against an activist who released a video showing her arguing with her mother over her conversion to Islam.
The Supreme Court last week refused to overturn a Kerala high court order annulling Hadiya Jahan’s marriage with Shafin Jahan and also asked the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to probe allegations that it was a case of love jihad.
Hadiya, 24, was born Akhila Ashokan before she converted after her marriage. The HC had sent her back to her father’s house.
Hadiya’s father Ashokan, an ex-serviceman, said the video released by Rahul Eswar gave a wrong picture that his daughter continued to live as a Muslim and she was under tremendous pressure.
“He has cheated us. He took the video without our knowledge. What is shown in the video is also not correct,” Ashokan said.
“Being the grandson of Sabariamala thantri (main priest) we gave him some consideration and allowed him to visit us. But we never thought he will become a tool in the hands of fundamentalist outfits” Ashokan said.
In the complaint field at Vaikkom police station in Kottayam district, the father said Rahul had exploited the situation.
The father said this was Rahul’s second visit to his house after the high court verdict in May.
“He said he is taking selfies for his personal use and assured us they won’t be made public. But he handed over photos and video to the media a day after. It is a breach of trust,” said the father.
The woman’s father claims the marriage was forced and was a case of love jihad, a term right-wing groups use to allege an Islamist strategy of converting Hindu women through seduction, marriage or money.
He also sought custody of his daughter saying that efforts are underway to send her to Syria to join the international terror outfit, Islamic State.
Rahul denied the allegations and said he shot the video with the knowledge and consent of the family.
“I went to the house after taking police permission. I took video with their permission. My only intention was to help them,” he said, adding that he had no idea why the father chose to make it an issue almost a week after airing the video.
In the video, aired by two national channels, Hadiya was seen arguing with her mother on her choice for faith.
“She scolds me when I take namaz. Is this how my life should be? Why you are confining me like this?” she is heard asking her mother. The mother responds by saying that they struggled to make her a doctor but she returned as an Islamic preacher.
The Supreme Court has said it will hear Hadiya before taking a final decision.
First Published: Aug 23, 2017 14:44 IST