The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has examined two Hindu women from Kerala who reportedly said they were lured to convert to Islam but were not forced, said officials from the agency.
The two were examined as part of the probe into the case of Akhila Asokan alias Hadiya, a 24-year-old Hindu girl who converted to Islam and later married a Muslim man. Akhila’s parents had moved the Kerala High Court, alleging that she was radicalised and converted to Islam and was forcibly married to a Muslim man. The High Court annulled the marriage and Akhila’s husband Shafin Jahan moved the Supreme Court, which asked the NIA to investigate the case.
NIA officials said that the agency had asked Kerala Police for details of alleged forced conversions at Therbiyathul Islam Sabha in Kozhikode, a religious centre authorised by the Kerala government where Akhila is learnt to have converted.
A senior NIA official said the two women, both named Athira, were examined at Kochi last week. “They claimed that they were lured to convert to Islam but no one forced them. We are corroborating their statements,” said an NIA official.
According to NIA officials, one of the women Athira Nambiar who was earlier examined in 2016, wanted to convert to Islam to marry a Muslim man. The agency had first examined Athira Nambiar in 2016 when her parents moved a habeas corpus petition in Kerala High Court against the conversion and the court asked the NIA to probe the matter, they said.