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Hadiya free of hostage but has to wait for absolute justice

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Hadiya, the young woman from Kerala who married a Muslim, appeared in the Supreme Court on Monday to testify on her family’s allegation that she was kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam by a man conscripting for terror. But the 25-year-old, sitting in court in a black head-scarf, had to wait for nearly two hours to speak as arguments mainly revolved around whether her marriage is legal and whether the hearing should be held in camera, or behind closed doors. She flew from Kochi to Delhi under heavy security for the hearing in what has been dubbed the “love jihad” case. The judges want to hear from Hadiya if she married Sheffin Jahan a year ago of her own free will.

This is essentially an issue between a parent who refuses to recognise the decisions of his adult daughter and a daughter who refuses to see what her parents expect from her. Now she is at the centre of the Love Jihad controversy, appeared before the Supreme Court on Monday’s hearing. She still maintained that she wants to be with her husband Sheffin Jahan and had married him out of her own will and not compulsion. Her parents are keeping her hostage for years now she wants her freedom to leave them and tie up with her soul mate.

God knows why there is so much fuss on this marriage, just because Kerala is a place where leftists and right-wingers always had blood sucking rivalry, they hate each other so much so that they restore in killing each other. By all means BJP is trying to come to power in the state and communal card is their biggest weapon even since. Media, judiciary authorities and governments, each and everyone running after one topic to prove how a girl is nabbed and forced to change her religion, gave so many plugs. This is clear cases of inter religion marriage, and the bride’s parents are not able to digest it, so trying to give it communal/terrorist angle.

BJP is trying to invoke nationalism and attempting to make brownie points and divert attention of Indians from their failures in last 3.5 years! Both Delhi and Kerala Police are providing security to Hadiya. She has also been asked to not speak to the media. Delhi’s Kerala House has turned into a fortress after the new guest checked in. An entire floor has been blocked for Hadiya, and 2-3 rooms have been booked for her and her family to stay. Delhi Police are also on alert for additional security.

Hope now this case is no more a case of love jihad, the “victim” herself has testified. Why are we wasting time on such issues, is one lady making a big story and big impact to India? Ignore and move to some major issues of the nation such as farmers, employment. Shame for wasting time of 1.25 billion Indians, could be more productive and progressive. What kind of country we are living in where a grownup adult has to go through so many traumas. Since BJP came to power the religious issues has soared.

Before taking a flight to Delhi, Hadiya shouted to reporters at the Kochi airport “I have not been forcefully converted… I have not been forcefully married to Sheffin Jahan. I married him out of my own will and I want to live with my husband.” Her father KM Asokan has argued in court that she “does not have an independent mind” and is brainwashed and heavily indoctrinated, which indicates that her testimony cannot be relied upon.

Born Akhila Ashokan, Hadiya was in college when she met Sheffin Jahan, 26, who had returned from Oman, through an Islamist matrimonial website. The National Investigation Agency alleges that Sheffin has links to a terror group. Hadiya’s father contested the marriage and alleged that Sheffin Jahan was trying to recruit her for terror and take her to Syria. On his petition, the marriage was cancelled in May by the Kerala High Court, which ordered Hadiya to return to her family.

Since then, she has been living at her father’s home in Kottayam and has been allowed no contact with outsiders without her father’s approval.

Sheffin Jahan challenged the annulment in the Supreme Court, which said it wants to hear her version. Last month, the top court had said Hadiya’s consent, as an adult is “prime”. Sheffin Jahan says Hadiya stayed with him for only 48 hours before her father went to the police. He has filed a complaint with the police, claiming her parents have been trying to convert her back to Hinduism. Earlier this month, a team of the National Commission of Women visited Hadiya in her father’s house and declared her “happy and safe”. The team’s visit followed activist Rahul Easwar sharing a video in which she accused her father of physically abusing her. The National Investigation Agency, the country’s top anti-terror body, recently questioned Hadiya’s husband for six hours. The agency is inquiring into 89 marriages in Kerala.

Hadiya appeared before the Supreme Court and presented her side of the argument on her alleged forced conversion to Islam. Supreme Court told the court that she wants her ‘freedom’. She wanted to go with her husband Sheffin Jahan. SC directed college and university concerned to re-admit Hadiya and grant her hostel facility. The apex court also appointed dean of Salem-based homoeopathic college as Hadiya’s guardian, and granted him liberty to approach it in case of any problem. The Supreme Court ordered the college administration to treat Hadiya like any other student and as per hostel rules, but remained silent on whether Sheffin Jahan or her parents would be allowed to meet her while she completes her studies.

The next hearing in the case will be held in the third week of January. Until then, we all have to wait, but one good thing happened that the girl is allowed to get out of hostage.

(Any suggestions, comments or dispute with regards to this article send us on feedback@www.afternoonvoice.com)

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Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi Tamanhttps://authorvaidehi.com
Vaidehi Taman an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with three Honourary Doctorate in Journalism. Vaidehi has been an active journalist for the past 21 years, and is also the founding editor of an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, and The Democracy digital video news portal is her brain child. Vaidehi has three books in her name, "Sikhism vs Sickism", "Life Beyond Complications" and "Vedanti". She is an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, OSCP offensive securities, Certified Security Analyst and Licensed Penetration Tester that caters to her freelance jobs.
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