THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Hadiya, the young woman from Kerala who converted to Islam and was known as Akhila Ashokan, hours after telling reporters at Cochin airport on Saturday that "I have not been forcefully converted", refused to speak to media, claiming that the police have asked her to do so.
25-year-old Hadiya, who left her Kottayam home under heavy security earlier in the day, arrived in Delhi late on Saturday evening. She had earlier told reporters at Cochin airport that she wants to live with her husband Sheffin Jahan. Hadiya is to appear in the Supreme Court on Monday.
Hadiya is currently living with her parents, who have alleged that her marriage to a Muslim man is a case of "forced conversion". Hadiya, her father Ashokan KM and mother Ponnamma came to the airport escorted by 16 police officers in four vehicles.
On October 30, the Supreme Court had said Hadiya's consent as an adult is "prime" and her version of how and why she married a Muslim man in Kerala last year will be heard in the top court on November 27.
In May, the Kerala High Court annulled Hadiya's marriage and ordered her to return to live with her parents in Kottayam district. Her 26-year-old husband, Sheffin Jahan, has appealed against the annulment as well as the sanction given in August by the Supreme Court to the National Investigating Agency or NIA to determine if his marriage is part of an emerging pattern which sees vulnerable Hindu women being lured by Muslim men who are agents of terrorist groups including ISIS.
On November 14, Hadiya's husband approached the police to seek her safety. Sheffin Jahan said he was worried that the journey to Delhi will take a toll on her health. He has also filed a complaint with Kottayam district police chief alleging her parents have been trying to re-convert her.
"Attempts are being made to reconvert Hadiya to Hinduism ahead of her being produced in SC on Monday. On Thursday, she was counselled by a religious teacher for over three hours. These attempts are being made in collusion with RSS activists for a ghar wapsi," Sheffin Jahan said in his police complaint. Ghar wapsi, or homecoming, is a term coined by Sangh Parivar affiliates to describe effort to re-convert people who were once Hindus.
Sheffin Jahan met Hadiya through an ad she placed on an Islamist matrimonial website affiliated to the Popluar Front of India, a Kerala outfit accused of terror links by the NIA. His lawyers have pointed out that the Kerala High Court has said all inter-faith marriages need not be seen as "love jihad".