Hadiya, a 24-year-old girl, whose conversion to Islam and subsequent marriage to a Muslim man has rocked Kerala, is now heard pleading in a video to be freed from her parental home.
In the brief video, released to the media by social activist Rahul Eashwar at a press conference in Kochi, Hadiya is heard saying, “You have to get me out. I am sure I will be killed tomorrow or the day after. My father is getting angry, I know. When I walk, he is pushing me and kicking me. If my head or any body part hits somewhere and I die….” before her voice trails away. The video is incomplete and was reportedly taken on August 17 at Vaikom in Kottayam district where she currently resides with her parents.
Eashwar said he has, in his possession, more footage of Hadiya but that it cannot be released publicly as it has communal undertones. He said the video was released in order to get the court’s attention to the 24-year-old’s plight. The case is scheduled to come up for hearing on October 30.
In an earlier video released by Eashwar, Hadiya is heard saying, “Am I supposed to live like this? Is this what they (father and mother) want?” In the same video, her mother is seen crying and saying that she ‘wants her daughter back.’
The marriage of Akhila Asokan, alias Hadiya, to Shafin Jahan was set aside by the Kerala High Court in May and her custody was entrusted to her parents. Her father KM Asokan had said that she was forcefully and fraudulently converted to Islam. The case is currently pending in the Supreme Court, which has ordered a probe by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to ascertain whether there is a wider pattern of ‘love jihad’ in the case.