Two days before she is set to depose in the Supreme Court, Hadiya (Hindu girl Akhila who converted to Islam and married a Muslim man) emphasised on Saturday that she converted to Islam of her own free will and wanted to live with her husband, Shefin Jahan.
“I am a Muslim. I have embraced Islam of my own free will. Nobody has compelled me to become a Muslim. I want justice. I want to live with my husband,’’ she said, in her first comments to the media at the Kochi airport, from where she boarded a flight to Delhi, accompanied by her parents.
Hadiya is set to appear before the Supreme Court on Monday. Meanwhile, Jahan said he would also leave for Delhi on Sunday.
The Indian Express reported on Saturday that the National Investigation Agency (NIA), in its status report to the Supreme Court earlier this week, has attached her statement in which she is learnt to have denied any pressure to convert to Islam or marry Jahan.
In August, the Supreme Court had directed the NIA to probe the case after Jahan challenged the Kerala High Court’s decision to annul their marriage and give Hadiya’s custody to her father.
In its earlier report to the court, the NIA had claimed there was a “well-oiled machinery working in Kerala” involved in indoctrination and radicalisation of women, and 89 such cases had been reported. It claimed that the court could invoke parental authority even if Hadiya was an adult, as her case suggested that she was radicalised.
Hadiya’s father, K M Ashokan, had also alleged that she had been indoctrinated by radical groups.
The Supreme Court had said it could consider the contention of the NIA and Ashokan, that Hadiya had been indoctrinated and her consent was not free, only after it had talked to her.
Meanwhile, a five-member police team, led by an Inspector, accompanied Hadiya and her parents to Delhi. Since May 24, when she was taken to her parent’s house at T V Puram in Kottayam district as per the High Court’s directive, Hadiya has not stepped outside. She has been under constant police watch, with two women constables always remaining with her.