The NIA on Monday said it is willing to take over a case which stemmed from the complaint of a Hindu woman, who had claimed that she was forcibly converted to Islam with the intention to sell her as a sex slave to the Islamic State in Syria.
The complaint was earlier probed by Ernakulam police, which arrested two persons who had allegedly helped a youth named Muhammed Riyas, a native of Kannur, to convert the woman to Islam. When the case came up for hearing in High Court, the NIA expressed its willingness to take over the probe.
The NIA has arraigned nine people as the accused — Riyas, 26, is the key figure. In his counter-affidavit, Riyas has denied all allegations.
The 25-year-old woman, belonging to a family from Kerala but settled in Jamnagar in Gujarat, had met Riyas in 2014 in Bengaluru, where they were studying. In her complaint, the woman stated she was forced to have sexual relations with Riyas, who allegedly recorded the act and used it to blackmail her.
She alleged that Riyas had forged documents to fabricate a marriage certificate. He allegedly took her to Saudi Arabia, and once there, she was forced to watch videos of Islamic preacher Zakir Naik. She later returned with the help of her family, the complaint said. Once here, the woman moved a petition in Kerala High Court in November last year.
Riyas said he had legally married the woman and the marriage was solemnised on May 21, 2016, at Hebbal, Bengaluru. He said that three months after the marriage, his wife was taken away to Gujarat after her father informed her that her mother was ill. He denied allegation of taking his wife to Saudi to sell her as a sex slave to IS.