In the latest development in the sensational Hadiya case, Asokan - the father of the 26-year-old woman from Kerala - has told the Supreme Court that he does not object to his daughter's change in faith.
Changing his narrative completely, Asokan now claims that Hadiya was ‘indoctrinated’ by a Muslim brother-sister duo to convert to Islam.
Asokan had said in earlier affidavits that Hadiya was influenced by Faseena and Jaseena, two of her classmates at the Sivaraj college in Salem and their father had got her inducted for conversion.
However, now Asokan says that "the real narrative of his daughter embracing Islam" is different. He has said that he came to know the ‘truth’ about this through Hadiya's close friend Ambiliy, recently.
According to Asokan, Hadiya came in contact with one Shanib from Malappuram through an internet chat in 2015. Shanib in turn introduced Hadiya (then Akhila) to his elder sister Sherin Shahana who was already married to Fasil Musthafa.
"Fasil Musthafa offered two things to my daughter, the post of his second wife and a trip to Yemen. The said couple took my daughter to Ernakulam and got an affidavit sworn before Sri. Davy AC, Advocate and Notary, Lawyers Line, 2nd Floor, Infant Jesus Building, Cochin-31 on 10/09/2015 to the purported effect that she had become a Muslim. She was renamed ‘Aasiya’ from several names suggested by the said couple," Asokan said in the affidavit.
He said that after Hadiya confided in her friend Ambily, who objected to her becoming Fasil's second wife, she "withdrew from the marriage proposal in the back drop of the propaganda that girls are being converted to Islam and getting trafficked to foreign countries." Following this, the couple dropped their idea of taking Hadiya to Yemen, Asokan said.
He added: "My daughter, who was already vulnerable fell into the trap of Faseena and Jaseena, sisters and workers of Campus Front (Student wing of Popular Front of India) and brought her to their father Sri. Aboobacker who in turn gave my daughter to 7th (Sathyasarani) and 8th respondents (Sainaba)."
Hadiya a vulnerable adult
Despite the Supreme Court repeatedly saying that Hadiya is an adult who is entitled to take her own decision, Asokan seems obstinate in proving that she is a vulnerable adult and incapable of taking decisions.
He stated that Hadiya had asked for Sainaba to be appointed her guardian when Asokan first approached the court, and this proved his daughter’s vulnerability.
"It is submitted that the case of my daughter that she had chosen the 8th Respondent as her guardian establishes my case that she is extremely vulnerable not behaving like a mature independent adult," the affidavit reads.
He has also argued that Hadiya repeatedly asked the SC to appoint Shafin Jahan her guardian. Hadiya’s constant need for a guardian despite being an educated adult goes to show her extreme vulnerability, Asokan argued in the affidavit.
"These are signs not of an independent and educated women, who is standing on her own feet and does not need to be dependent on anybody else. There is no doubt that Akhila is a vulnerable adult and therefore the High Court’s protective orders in the aforesaid petition acting, inter alia, under its inherent jurisdiction was justified and warranted in the peculiar circumstances of this case," the affidavit reads.
Denies allegations of harassment
In her affidavit to the SC, Hadiya had alleged torture at the hands of her parents in their home in Vaikkom of Kottayam district, and alleged that she caught her mother mixing drugs in her food.
Denying those allegations, Asokan said that his wife "cannot even dream of causing any harm to my daughter."
"No one who visited my daughter advised her to leave Islam but advised her to shed her animosity towards my wife and myself as whatever we had done was only for her welfare. Everybody advised her that Islam does not teach that a new comer should treat his/her parents as persons to be hated," he maintained.
In the counter affidavit, Asokan has raised the case of Yasmeen Mohammad Zahid, who was arrested by the NIA in 2016, while she was trying to flee India to Kabul in Afghanistan, along with her minor child. She is the second wife of Abdul Rashid, believed to be the main conspirator in the missing case of 21 people from Kerala to join the ISIS.
"She (Yasmeen) too, was going under the pretext of marriage. She told the interrogators that she had got married to Abdul Rashid (the main conspirator) over the phone and the co-accused Shihas acted as the 'wali' (guardian) of the bride, while other co-accused Ashfak and Yahya acted as witnesses. Abdul Rashid also used to send her videos and messages of the ‘Caliphate’ using the ‘Telegram’ App," the affidavit reads.
The SC bench that heard the case on February 22, has posted the case for further hearing on March 8.