The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered an NIA probe into the case of a Hindu girl being converted to Islam in Kerala. The agency had informed the apex court that the incident did not appear to be an isolated case and required further investigation. The case has made into the headlines and was reportedly termed as Love jihad. This is a term often used by right-wing Hindu groups to describe inter-faith marriages, which they allege is an Islamist conspiracy to convert Hindu women through marriage or coercion. A bench of Chief Justice of India J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud also said the probe will be monitored by retired apex court judge, Justice R V Raveendran.
Here is what has happened so far
#In a unique case, a 24-year-old woman and her parents were 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.
#Hadiya, who was staying with her friends in Malappuram, married Jahan on December 19 last year. Both were introduced to each other through a Muslim matrimonial website in August 2016. Two days after their wedding, Hadiya was asked to appear before the court in a habeas corpus petition filed by her parents. Her parents approached the High Court alleging forceful conversion, according to Indian Express report.
#Hadiya, however, while appearing in the court said that she had converted to Islam on her own. Her father, K M Ashokan, an ex-serviceman, however, alleged that there was a “well-oiled systematic mechanism” for conversion and that the marriage was an attempt to make her a part of the Islamic state. The marriage happened while the petition was pending in the court. However, state police said they had found no evidence that Jahan had any criminal links, IE reported.
#After a detailed hearing, the court then granted Hadiya’s custody to the father and also directed the Kottayam district police superintendent to provide them protection. Reports suggest that Hadiya was not happy with the decision. “I am a 25-year-old Indian citizen. Why the court put me under house arrest for the last five months? Why the court denied me the right to live as per my faith and likes?’’ she asked in a letter released to the media in May.
#The High Court had annulled the marriage on May 24.
#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.