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Friday, Sep 20, 2019

Will consider moving review plea in SC, says Hadiya’s father

The Supreme Court upheld the marriage of Hadiya, a 26-year-old Kerala woman who converted to Islam, to Shafin Jahan, overturning a high court order that annulled the marriage as sham.

india Updated: Mar 08, 2018 17:04 IST
Ramesh Babu
Ramesh Babu
Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
Hadiya (in red) coming out of the Supreme Court after a hearing on November 27, 2017.
Hadiya (in red) coming out of the Supreme Court after a hearing on November 27, 2017. (HT File Photo)

The father of Hadiya Jahan, who converted to Islam to marry a Muslim man, said on Thursday he will consider moving a review petition against the Supreme Court order restoring her marriage that the Kerala high court had annulled last May.

TM Ashokan said it was not the final verdict and he will continue his fight to “save” his daughter.

“The court made it clear that it is not a final verdict. Besides, the court hasn’t stayed the NIA investigation against Shafin Jahan (Hadiya’s husband). I believe the marriage was an excuse to take her abroad,” he said.

The Kerala high court had annulled the marriage on retired soldier Ashokan’s plea that his daughter was converted to Islam forcibly by an organisation with suspected terrorist links.

The 25-year-old Hadiya, born Akhila Ashokan, was a homeopathy student when she was allegedly recruited by the Islamic State terrorist group and her husband, whom she married in December 2016, was only a stooge.

“Look, no father would like to send his daughter to the violence-hit areas of Afghanistan or Syria. I am an atheist and I don’t believe in god. I would be the happiest if my daughter would have converted and married a Muslim youth in a proper way,” Ashokan said after the top court restored the marriage.

The father suspects Shafin has links with fundamentalist groups. The former military man had alleged earlier that there was a “well-oiled systematic mechanism” for conversion and Islamic radicalisation.

The Supreme Court verdict came on Shafin’s plea against the high court order. His case had put the spotlight back on “love jihad”, a term coined by fringe outfits to describe cases of what they believe are forced marriages between Muslim men and Hindu women for terrorist activities.

The apex court had in August last year asked the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to probe the case of conversion and marriage of Hadiya, as the agency claimed a “pattern” was emerging in Kerala.

Though the Supreme Court restored the Kerala couple’s marriage on Thursday, the bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said the NIA may continue its investigation.

On November 27 last year, the top court had freed Hadiya from her parents’ custody and sent her to college to pursue her studies, even as she pleaded that she should be allowed to live with her husband.

First Published: Mar 08, 2018 16:40 IST