NIA to file report on ‘love jihad’

A file photo of ‘Citizens for Hadiya’ staging a protest in Thiruvananthapuram.   | Photo Credit: C_RATHEESH KUMAR

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is expected to file a status report on Monday before the Supreme Court in a case where the father of a 25-year-old Hindu woman has alleged that his daughter was forced to convert to Islam and marry a Muslim man.

The NIA is likely to inform the apex court that the agency has not been able to question the woman even once as her father said she was not in “right frame of mind.”

The woman, Akhila alias Hadiya, who is living under police protection with her parents in Vaikom in Kerala, has not been questioned even once by the agency since it was asked to probe the case in August.

Threat to life

Earlier this week, a Kerala-based social activist Rahul Easwar released a 17-second video of the woman where she is heard speaking about a threat to her life from her father.

A senior NIA official told The Hindu that the agency has recorded the statements of seven other women to establish that an “organised effort” was going on to convert women from other faiths to Islam. However, he said the NIA has not yet been able to establish a terror conspiracy in the conversions, the mandate of the federal terror agency.

“We are yet to question Akhila as her father told us that she was not ready to face the investigators yet. We will be filing a status report before the Supreme Court,” said the official.

Akhila’s parents had moved the Kerala High Court in 2016 alleging that she was radicalised and forced to convert to Islam and forcibly married to a Muslim man.

The High Court then annulled the marriage and Akhila’s husband Shafin Jahan moved the Supreme Court, which asked the NIA to investigate the ‘love jihad’ case.

In the status report filed by the NIA, it had said Akhila’s case was similar to that of Athira Nambiar, another Hindu woman who converted to Islam at a government authorised Islamic centre in Kozhikode. Athira’s parents had moved a habeas corpus petition in the Kerala High Court in 2016 against the conversion and the court had asked the NIA to probe the matter. The woman subsequently returned to her parents.

In both cases of alleged forced conversions, the NIA has named a woman, Sainaba, an activist of the Social Democratic Party of India, the political arm of the Popular Front of India.

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Printable version | Jul 31, 2021 3:01:59 PM |

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