Hours after Hadiya said she wanted freedom to meet her husband and she was “still not free”, the principal of the Sivaraj Homeopathic Medical College near Salem, where she was sent by the Supreme Court to pursue her internship, said the 24-year-old woman had spoken to her husband over phone.
“She was so happy after talking to him for a few minutes,” G Kannan, principal of the college, told The Indian Express. He said he had given Hadiya his phone and she had a brief chat with husband Shefin Jahan in the evening.
Earlier in the day, speaking to mediapersons at the college, Hadiya alias Akhila, the Hindu woman who had converted to Islam and whose marriage with a Muslim man was annulled by the Kerala High Court in May this year, said: “What I demanded from the court was freedom — freedom to meet my husband. But the truth is that I am still not free… I didn’t get freedom.”
While the Kerala High Court had given Hadiya’s custody to her parents, the Supreme Court on Monday allowed her to return to her college. “Here, even the college is not clear about my freedom and the court’s order. They are trying to figure it out. We should give them a few more days… and I will be able to tell you whether I am really free or not,” she said.
“For the last six months, I was made to stay with people who I don’t like. They are the ones who tried to convert me. Newspapers, television or… there were so many restrictions at home, even restrictions on talking to people. And now it has reached a point where my parents are saying that I am not mentally stable,” said Hadiya.
“It may be true that it’s hardly a matter of one more month… but the fact is that each and every day matters a lot to me… I just want to meet my dear ones as soon as possible,” she said. “See, I don’t have a phone, I haven’t contacted anyone so far, even though what I demanded in the court was my freedom.”
Hadiya said she spoke to her father before leaving for Salem. “But I was not able to contact Shefin Jahan when I tried to call him,” she said. Reiterating that her main demand is to meet him, she said: “Isn’t it a basic right that I am demanding, something that every citizen should be allowed to have. It has nothing to do with politics or caste.”
She alleged that while she was with her parents, she was “mentally harassed” by a group from Siva Sakthi Yoga Centre, who tried to counsel her and get her to return to Hinduism. “They haven’t told me their names but they harassed me mentally. They even insisted that I should hold a press conference and announce that I am returning to Sanatana Dharma,” she said.
Hadiya spent an hour in her classroom, before being escorted back to the main building of the college by a policewoman in plain clothes. She was accompanied by college principal G Kannan when she spoke to the media.
Meanwhile, Kalpana Sivaraj, MD of Sivaraj Homeopathic College, said Shefin Jahan may be allowed to meet Hadiya, with the permission of the college principal. She added that Hadiya may get police protection until she completes her course in another 11 months.