The National Investigative Agency (NIA) began its investigation in the Kerala love jihad case on Friday, days after the Supreme Court directed it to probe into the case. The case pertains to the annulment of marriage between a Muslim man and a Hindu woman (who had converted to Islam) by the Kerala High Court who described the case as ‘love jihad.’
The bench’s order came after Kerala-based 27-year-old Muslim man Shafin Jahan challenged the annulment of his marriage to Akhila alias Hadiya by the high court on May 24.
Hadiya (24) married Jahan on December 19, 2016 after meeting each other through a Muslim matrimonial website in August 2016. Two days after their wedding, Hadiya was asked to appear before the court in a habeas corpus petition filed by her parents. Her parents approached the High Court alleging forceful conversion. Hadiya, however, while appearing in the court said she had converted to Islam on her own. The marriage happened while the petition was pending in the court.
Following this, Kerala High Court then sent her to a hostel in Kochi. The court proceedings continued normally but Hadiya was not allowed to meet anyone. Jahan, who had been working in Muscat had to quit his job to take part in the proceedings. “My company told me to return to the Gulf only after settling the matter,” he said.
Meanwhile, the high court had directed the police to probe the matter. During the investigation, the police found no evidence that could link Jahan with any criminal activity.
The court then granted Hadiya’s custody to the father and also directed the Kottayam district police superintendent to provide them protection. Reports suggest that Hadiya was not happy with the decision. Jahan, in the meantime, decided to challenge the judgement and approached the Supreme Court. The apex court then directed the state police to share its investigation reports with the National Investigation Agency. Jahan, was reportedly unhappy with the involvement of NIA, saying that it amounted to distrusting the police. The Supreme Court, however, rejected his claims and said that the “purpose of issuing notice to NIA on the first day itself was for neutral and unbiased assistance”.