Kerala

2 held in Kerala conversion case

The Ernakulam rural police have arrested two persons in connection with the alleged forcible conversion of a 25-year-old woman with the intention of taking her to Syria to join the Islamic State. The arrested have been identified as Fawas Jamal and Siyad, both natives of North Paravur. A police officer said the duo had been picked up for allegedly aiding Muhammad Riyas, key accused in the case, in converting the woman.

“Interrogation of the duo is crucial in ascertaining whether her conversion was part of a deliberate attempt to take her to the IS. Those arrested will be produced before a magistrate by Thursday,” the officer said.

The police have confirmed that Riyas, a native of New Mahe near Thalassery, had fled the country. It was alleged that Riyas had locked up the woman at a house in North Paravur for some time before fleeing to Saudi Arabia.

The woman, a native of Pathanamthitta who grew up in Gujarat, had met Riyas while studying in Bengaluru in 2014. Later, he allegedly forced her to have physical relationship with him. He recorded the act and used it to threaten her into continuing sexual relations.

Later, he made the woman join a madrasa and forged documents, including her Aadhaar card, to reflect her new Muslim name. The accused also allegedly used these documents to get their marriage registered in May 2016. After reaching Saudi Arabia, Riyaz allegedly made the woman watch videos of Islamic preacher Zakir Naik but a few months later, she contacted her family and flew back to India.

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Printable version | Mar 3, 2021 8:30:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/2-held-in-kerala-conversion-case/article22415004.ece

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