“This is a clear violation of rights provided to a citizen by the constitution to choose any religion. When a girl chose to convert on her own, how can a court in the democratic India turn deaf to her?” Shafin Jahan asked.
Shafin’s outburst to Southlive, comes after the Kerala High Court on Wednesday, cancelled the marriage conducted by a qazi between him and a Hindu woman who had converted to Islam.
The Court also ordered a detailed probe into the allegation that there were attempts to recruit the woman to the Islamic State.
A division bench of the court nullified the marriage between Hadiya and Shafin based on a habeas corpus petition filed by her father, a native of Vaikom.
The court observed that an important decision like marriage in a woman's life can only be taken with the active involvement of her parents and the couple who acted as guardians for solemnising the ‘marriage' had no authority or competence to do so. “The marriage which is alleged to have been performed is a sham and is of no consequence in the eye of law. It is therefore declared null and void,” the judgment said, reported the Times of India.
Hadiya was a student of Homeopathy in a college in Salem in Tamil Nadu. The father of the woman had approached the court last year complaining that his daughter, who was doing her internship, had gone missing.
The father alleged in his petition that two Muslim sisters, who were her room mates, converted her to Islam and took her to Sathyasarani, a Muslim organisation. The father also said that the daughter had been kept her under illegal detention in a theological centre for neo converts in Malappuram.
The woman then appeared in the court and told the court that she had left home of her own accord. The court let her go.
Later, the father alleged that there were efforts to recruit her to Islamic State by marrying her to a Muslim man of Manjeri and taking her to Syria.
The father raised concerns after many youngsters from Kerala went missing and joined the Islamic State. In that case too, a few of the IS recruits had been young men and women who had been converted to Islam.
Though Hadiya was sent to police custody for a few days after this, she was freed after she requested the court to do so.
In a subsequent court appearance, she had appeared with her husband and told the court that they were married in December 2016.
The court had then ordered an enquiry into the marriage. The court also directed that protection be provided for the woman and her parents.
Shafin told Southlive that he has not been given access to his wife for 156 days and was not aware where she was. The court had moved her into a hostel after it was informed about the wedding.
“We have got married on 19 December at the house where Hadiya was residing as per the court direction and the marriage was registered,” says Shafin.
Southlive has also published letters that she had purportedly written to her father and the court. In one such letter she says, “To live as a Muslim, I don’t need to go to other countries. I believe that I can live in Kerala without any hurdles ... if you are still filing complaints, it will be a cruelty towards me.”