Kerala Convert Case: ‘I am Muslim by choice, I want to live with my husband’, says Hadiya 

Hadiya, earlier known as Akhila Ashokan, the woman at the centre of the so called ‘Love Jihad’ case, has said that she is a Muslim and nobody forced her to convert to Islam.

“I want justice. I married Shefin Jahan and converted to Islam as per my wish and nobody has forced me to do so. I want to live with my husband,” Hadiya told media persons at the Kochi airport on Saturday.

Chaotic scenes prevailed as mediapersons, who tried to approach her, jostled with the policemen after she reached the airport.

Accompanied by her parents K M Ashokan and Ponnamma and a police team including women personnel, she left for Delhi amid tight police security to appear before the Supreme Court on Monday.

Though Ashokan and family had earlier planned to go to Delhi by train, the police asked them to take a flight in the wake of security threats.

She will appear before a division Bench of the Supreme Court, which is considering a petition filed by Shefin Jahan. She will be appearing before the court as the court wanted to hear her version in the case. She is expected to declare her stance in the court on Monday.

She stirred up a hornets’ nest after converting to Islam and assuming the name of Hadiya and marrying Shefin Jahan.

The Kerala high court had in May annulled the marriage of Hadiya and Shefin Jahan which took place in December 2016.

Jahan then approached the Supreme Court challenging the high court order. The apex court in turn referred the investigation to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

The direction by the apex court for producing Hadiya for an interaction came amid an assertion by the NIA that this was a case in which the woman was indoctrinated and she may be incapable of giving free consent to marriage.

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

Jahan had on Friday complained that attempts were being made to reconvert her to Hinduism.

Earlier, Kottayam district police chief Muhammed Rafeek told Express that the Kerala police sought the help of Delhi police to ensure Hadiya’s security there. “A four-member team of Kerala police arrived in Delhi on Friday to hold discussions with Delhi police and to arrange security arrangements there. We have made all the arrangements for her protection as directed by Kerala High Court,” Rafeek said.

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