Kerala ‘love jihad’: Hadiya is hale and hearty, says women’s commission chief
Hadiya, born Akhila Ashokan, married Shefin Jahan in December 2016. Her father Ashokan KM approached the Kerala high court, seeking annulment.Updated: Nov 06, 2017 23:55 IST
Hadiya Jehan is safe and secure at her home, the acting chairperson of the National Commission for Women (NCW) said on Monday after meeting the 24-year-old homoeopathy doctor from Kerala at the centre of a religious conversion row at her home in Kottayam district.
Rekha Sharma denied reports that Hadiya was under house arrest and being tortured by her father and other relatives after meeting her for an hour at her home in Vaikom.
“She is in good health. She was not beaten up by anyone. She told me she will tell everything before the Supreme Court when she appears before it on November 27,” Sharma said showing a smiling photo of Hadiya taken on her mobile phone.
This is the first time a high-ranking official met Hadiya after the Kerala high court annulled her marriage with a Muslim man, Shefin Jehan, in May.
She said three women police officials are stationed at her home and they are providing protection to her round the clock. “There is no rights violation. She is secure at her home. All she wanted was to go out freely ... She is eager to depose before the court. Since the case is before the court we did not discuss it in detail,” she said.
Sharma evaded a question whether Hadiya was a victim of “love jihad”, saying there were reports of forced conversions and indoctrination from the state. She said she will submit a report to the Centre within a week.
She said she will also meet Bindhu Sampath, the mother of Nimisha Fathima who reportedly slipped out of the country in June 2016 and is believed to have joined the Islamic State. Last month, Bindhu impleaded in the case seeking a thorough inquiry into earlier cases of conversions.
Last week, Hadiya’s husband moved the Supreme Court with the fresh plea to shift her from her father’s house. He claimed she was tortured and sedated at home citing a video released by activist Rahul Eswar.
Hadiya, born Akhila Ashokan, married Shefin Jahan without her family’s consent last December. Her father, retired military man Ashokan KM, approached the high court in May, alleging in his petition that there was a “well-oiled systematic mechanism” for conversion and Islamic radicalisation.
Ashokan told the high court in May the forces that played a key role in the alleged indoctrination and conversion of his daughter were planning to send her to the war-torn Syria as a human bomb for the terror group.
The high court annulled Hadiya’s marriage and ordered her to return to live with her parents in the southern state’s Kottayam district.
Hadiya’s husband Shafin challenged the high court’s May 24 order annulling their marriage in the top court. The Supreme Court also ordered a probe by the National Investigation Agency into the matter as the agency claimed it was not an isolated incident of “love jihad” but a “pattern” that was emerging in Kerala.
“Love jihad” is a controversial term coined by fringe outfits to describe cases of what they believe are forced marriages between Muslim men and Hindu women. They also allege such couples often work for terrorist groups.