The State Women’s Commission will seek the Supreme Court’s permission to submit its inquiry report in what has come to be known as the Hadiya case.
The issue pertained to Akhila, alias Hadiya, a 26-year-old Hindu woman whose conversion to Islam and subsequent marriage to a Muslim youth has triggered a national debate on whether “love jihad”, deceptive conversion, was a political truth or a social myth.
The commission came into the picture when feminists, intellectuals, free thinkers, and Muslim women organisations complained that Hadiya’s parents were holding her against her will at home. It received petitions that she was under constant police watch and denied visitors and freedom of movement. The forum also received complaints that her guardians tortured her.
It ordered an inquiry by its principal investigator. The report has been kept a secret given its sensitive nature. The commission has also received claims and counter-claims that Hadiya had converted and married on her volition.
Commission chairperson M.C. Josephine said the Supreme Court’s observations in the case on Tuesday was a stark reminder that protection should not impede on the individual rights of any citizen. Hadiya’s father could have moved the court out of grave concern for his daughter’s welfare. She said several quarters were responsible for the plight of the family.
In a related development, the State Human Rights Commission has pulled up the District Police Chief, Kottayam, for his failure to report whether Hadiya was under house arrest or not.