Thiruvananthapuram: After a year of forced separation and a legal fight that finally validated their marriage, Hadiya and her husband Shafin Jahan reached Kerala early Saturday morning.
The couple had a stopover at Sainaba's house in Malappuram. Sainaba is said to have played a crucial role in the conversion of Hadiya to Islam and is also the women's head of Popular Front of India (PFI), an Islamist political group.
"We met after a very long time. It was an emotional and exciting reunion. Hadiya is very happy," Sainaba told NDTV.
The couple also visited PFI leaders in Kozhikode. With her head covered and dressed in red, 25-year-old Hadiya told the media that "all this happened because I embraced Islam".
"I reached out to many organisations for help during my conversion to Islam but most of them refused. It was the Popular Front of India that stood by us and even helped us with our legal fight in Supreme Court," Hadiya said. A composed Shafin Jahan reiterated Hadiya's gratitude.
On March 8, the Supreme Court upheld Hadiya's marriage with Shafin Jahan, overturning the Kerala High Court order that had annulled the marriage. In May last year, the high court had cancelled Hadiya's marriage on a complaint by her father, KM Asokan, who alleged that she had been brainwashed and was forced to convert to Islam. In its order, the high court had called the marriage a "sham".
Hadiya's father Asokan had claimed before the top court that his daughter was converted and forced into marriage by people with links to terrorist organisations. He had earlier told the high court that his daughter was indoctrinated and was being prepared to be taken to Syria. Hadiya was forcefully confined to her house and isolated from her friends by her parents for over a year.
However, the Supreme Court said that Hadiya was free to live her life in accordance with law but the probe into alleged forced conversions in Kerala will continue.
Hadiya had met Shafin Jahan, who was working in Oman and had returned to India recently, through a matrimonial website which the National Investigation Agency (NIA) says it is probing for links to terror.