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Kerala 'Love Jihad' case: Hadiya to appear in SC today; story so far

Contrary to her parents' claim, Hadiya on Saturday told reporters that her conversion was not by force

BS Web Team | PTI  |  New Delhi 

Hadiya earlier known as Akhila. (Photo: Twitter)
Hadiya earlier known as Akhila. (Photo: Twitter)

The will on Monday continue the hearing in the Kerala 'love jihad' case.

On the last date of hearing, the had asked Hadiya's father to produce her before it.

A bench, comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, had asked senior advocate Shyam Divan, representing the father of the woman, to ensure she is produced before them to ascertain whether she had married of her own volition.

In a video recorded in August, Kerala woman 24-year-old Akhila Ashokan, or Hadiya is heard pleading an activist to "get her out" of confinement as she fears that her father might kill her. The video was released by activist Rahul Eashwar. Hadiya, the woman at the centre of a religious conversion row is currently staying with her parents after a order. ( View video here

"Get me out of here. Today or tomorrow, I am going to die. I am sure about this. My father is getting angry, I can make out. He pushes me, stamps at me," says Hadiya in the video.

Eashwar's version

After meeting the woman and her family in August, Eashwar had released one video excerpt of his conversation earlier and released another in October. "While I am a Hindu activist, I believe Hadiya's voice must also be heard", Eashwar told NDTV. He added that he would be handing over the entire footage to the court.

Father's version

"Nothing has happened to her so far... so there is no validity to her claims," the father told NDTV. "I don't have the time and need to see what Rahul Eashwar says," he added.

They have been alleging that her marriage was a case of love jihad, or forceful conversion through marriage.

Regarding the case, Hadiya's father moved a fresh application in the top court on November 21 seeking direction for audio and video recording of the hearing.

Hadiya's version

Contrary to her parents' take, Hadiya, on Saturday, told reporters that her conversion was not by force.

"I am a Muslim. I was not forced. I want to be with my husband," the 25-year-old woman, wearing a headscarf, shouted as she was being taken inside the airport to board a flight to New Delhi.

Activists' demand 

Women's rights activists comprising academicians, authors, women's collectives and women's right advocates, have urged  Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan as well as the State Commission for Women to extend state protection to Hadiya. The activists, including publisher Urvashi Butalia, DU professor Nandini Sundar, JNU professors Ayesha Kidwai and Nivedita Menon, and Suneeta Dhar among others, have sought that "Hadiya be brought under the protection of the state, perhaps in a shelter in consultation with her".

Court verdict

In May, declared her marriage to as null and void, calling it a case of "love jihad" and directed her to return to the protective custody of her Hindu parents in Kottayam. Outside her house, policemen stand guard round-the-clock to make sure she does.

The high court had gone by her father Ashokan KM's claim that has links to terror-outfits and targeted Hadiya, who the father alleges, was forcefully converted by her friends.

On appeal against this high court verdict by Hadiya's husband, the bench led by former CJI JS Khehar had initially roped in the anti-terror agency Investigation Agency (NIA) to probe the circumstances of the marriage. However, earlier in October, Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra questioned the annulment of the marriage by the in May as well as the probe that was ordered.

The NIA, represented by Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh, had said there was a well-oiled machinery working in Kerala that was indoctrinating and radicalising society in the state.

As many as 89 cases of similar nature have been reported from the southern state, the ASG had said.

The has submitted a status report in a sealed cover to the top court in connection with the case.

First Published: Mon, November 27 2017. 10:46 IST