In a unique case, a 24-year-old woman and her parents are being guarded by Police following Kerala High Court’s direction in a village in Kerala. The woman named Akhila alias Hadiya was married to a Muslim man Shefin Jahan. But the High Court had annulled the marriage on May 24 citing that is weak and vulnerable, capable of being exploited in many ways. Akhila alias Hadiya’s parents alleged Jahan had married their daughter to take her to join the Islamic State. However, state police said they had found no evidence that Jahan had any criminal links.
27-year-old Jahan had challenged the High Court verdict in the Supreme Court. On August 10, the Supreme Court directed the state police to share details of the conversion of the Hindu woman with the National Investigation Agency.
Hadiya hasn’t left her parents’ house in the two and a half months since the high court gave her custody to her father, K M Ashokan. Jahan, who lives 130 km away, in Kollam, says he has had no communication with her in all this time. “I had sent a letter to her, but her father returned it with the acknowledgement ‘rejected by the guardian’. Once I went to TV Puram to visit her, but police did not allow me to enter the house,” Jahan was quoted as saying by IE.
Kottayam District Superintendent of Police N Ramachandran said, “Police are giving round-the-clock security to the woman and her parents. The high court had directed protection for them. They fear a threat, which can come from any quarters.” A police officer in Kottayam told IE, “We have intelligence reports that the woman and her parents face serious threat from Islamic fundamentalists. We have advised the family not to let the woman outside as it may endanger her life.”
The case made the headline and was reportedly termed as Love jihad. Love Jihad is a term often used by right-wing Hindu groups to describe inter-faith marriages, which they claim is an Islamist conspiracy to convert Hindu women through marriage or coercion