Days after activist and TV personality Rahul Easwar released the controversial "Love Jihad Tapes", that showed Hadiya (a Hindu woman who embraced Islam and took up the name Hadiya) questioning her mother on her choice of religion, her family has filed a complaint against Rahul.
In his complaint given to the Sub Inspector of Police (Vaikkom) Saby, Ashokan alleges that Rahul had cheated them by releasing the footage.
SI Saby told TNM that while they have received a complaint, the police have initiated preliminary probe on Ashokan's complaint. An FIR is yet to be lodged, he added.
On August 17, Rahul had released a selfie photograph of him, Hadiya and Ashokan, where Hadiya was seen wearing a hijab. He also released a 1 minute 53 seconds video showing Hadiya arguing with her mother.
"Is this how my life should be? Ask her whether she scolds me when I do namaz or not," Hadiya can be heard asking.
In a 6-page complaint to the police, Ashokan alleged that Rahul had exploited the family's distress and had cheated them. Ashokan has also accused Rahul of being the tool of terrorist organisations in convincing the world that Hadiya continues to live as a Muslim.
"After the Kerala HC order which annulled her marriage with Shafin Jahan, Rahul called me up and requested permission to meet Hadiya. When I enquired, I came to know that he belongs to the family of Sabarimala tantri and so allowed him to visit us. He first came to our house a few weeks after the HC verdict. He came and spoke to Hadiya in private and assured me and my wife that he will make everything right. Then some one and a half months after this, he visited us again, he told us that there was considerable improvement in her and that he will convince her."
"On August 17, he came again. By then he had gained our trust. He was speaking to hwr in her bedroom, when I entered the room, he told me to sit on the bed along with them and took photographs and selfie. I asked him why he was doing so and expressed my opposition. But he assured me that the photo was for his personal use and that he will never publicise it. However the first thing he did after leaving our house was to hand it over to the media," Ashokan alleged.
By leaking the photograph and video, Rahul provided fodder to the media, who ran prime time shows arguing that Hadiya was still a practicing Muslim, complaint says.
However, Rahul had told TNM that the photographs and the video was taken with the knowledge and permission of the family. Asked whether his action had violated the court order, Rahul had said that the Kerala HC had already recorded Hadiya's statement and that a "mere technicality that the case is subjudice shouldn't stop him from revealing the truth."