Hadiya "Does Not Have An Independent Mind", Says Her Father's Lawyer

Kerala Written by

Hadiya, who will appear before the Supreme Court today, had told reporters that she married a Muslim man, Sheffin Jahan, "of my own will" and she wants to live with her husband.

Thiruvananthapuram: Hadiya, the young woman from Kerala who claimed last week that she had not been forcibly converted, "does not have an independent mind", her father's lawyer has said. The 25-year-old, he said, is under "mental kidnapping", indicating whatever she says cannot be relied on, he said.

The case of Hadiya, who was born Akhila Ashokan, was dubbed as "love jihad" by social media after her father contested her marriage with a Muslim man, saying he was trying to recruit her for jihadi groups and take her to Syria.

The young woman, who was flown to Delhi under high security, will appear before the Supreme Court today. On way to Delhi, Hadiya had told media persons at the Kochi airport: "I have not been forcefully converted, neither have I been forcefully married to Sheffin Jahan. I married him out of my own will and I want to live with my husband."

On Sunday, A Raghunath, the lawyer of her father KM Asokan, told NDTV: "Any statement coming from such a mind (Hadiya's) cannot be accepted. She does not have an independent mind at all. She is heavily indoctrinated. Her response can be taken only after she comes out of the mental kidnapping that she has gone through."

Asked if it was correct to confine her to her father's home, Mr Raghunath said, "If the high court had not passed this order, you would have found her in Syria or in Afghanistan."

Hadiya had converted to Islam while studying in college and married Mr Jahan -- a Muslim who returned to Kerala from the Middle East - through an Islamic matrimonial site.

In May, her marriage to Sheffin Jahan was annulled by the Kerala high court after her father Asokan KM claimed she had been forcibly converted and married. His petition said Sheffin Jahan has links to terror organisations and he feared that his daughter was being prepared to be taken to Syria.

After an appeal from Mr Jahan against the high court order, the Supreme Court has said it wants to hear her version.

Hadiya, who had been confined to her father's house for nearly four months and was allowed no contact with outsiders without the approval of her father, is now in Delhi.

Mr Jahan has also filed a complaint with the police, claiming her parents have been trying to reconvert Hadiya to Hinduism.