"I want my child back. She is asking me what good we have got by praying to Hindu gods. I tried advising her a lot, she doesn't listen to me," says Ponnamma, as tears stream down her cheeks.
Ponnamma is the mother of 24-year-old Akhila (now Hadiya), who converted to Islam and married a Muslim man Shafin Jahan last year.
In a video shot and released on social media by social Activist Rahul Easwar on Thursday, Ponnamma explains how Akhila's two Muslim friends had influenced her to convert to Islam. A woman police personnel can also be seen standing next to Akhila.
Hadiya has been on house arrest since May 26 this year, two days after the Kerala High Court nullified her marriage calling it a sham. The Supreme Court has asked the country's top counter-terror agency, the National Investigation Agency or NIA to probe whether groups like the banned SIMI (Students Islamist Movement of India) are targeting vulnerable Hindu women.
While Ponnamma is speaking, Hadiya, clad in a hijab, comes out of a bedroom and stands near the door . She can then be heard questioning her mother on the way of life she is forced to lead currently.
"Is this how I should live? Is this my life? ," she says.
She goes on to tell Rahul Easwar that he should ask her mother why she is scolding her while doing Namaz.
"Ask her whether she scolds me or not when I do Namaz. Ask her that," Akhila reasons.
Hadiya's father Ashokan and his lawyer C Rajendran, told TNM that Rahul had taken a photograph with their permission, but the family was not informed about the video.
Source: Rahul Easwar/ Twitter
Rahul Eashwar told TNM that though he had visited the family several times in the past, he had released the video so that people would understand both sides of the issue.
"The parents are of the view that Akhila can chose whatever religion she wants to practice, but they don't want her to leave them.I believe it was important to present both sides of the argument. Did I edit out any portion of the video? I didn't, because I wanted everyone to listen to both of their arguments," Rahul said.
Asked whether it was right on his part to release just a video, when the court had restricted Akhila's movement and interaction with the media, Rahul said that he sees nothing wrong in releasing the footage.
"The case being subjudice is merely a technicalilty. We shouldn't be bowed down by these technicalities. Now that the NiA will investigate the case, it will take a long time for the case to reach a conclusion. But the fact remains that there is a family that is struggling to get their only daughter back," Rahul said. He asserted that he had sought the permission of the family before shooting the video. Along with the video, he also released a selfie photograph along with Akhila and her father Ashokan.