‘Thank you for the legal support’: Hadiya, Shafin visit PFI chief in Kerala

“It is our right to choose our religion,” Hadiya said, after the Supreme Court upheld their marriage, that was annulled by the Kerala HC.
‘Thank you for the legal support’: Hadiya, Shafin visit PFI chief in Kerala
‘Thank you for the legal support’: Hadiya, Shafin visit PFI chief in Kerala
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Just days after the Supreme Court upheld their marriage, Kerala couple Hadiya and Shafin arrived in Kozhikode on Saturday and met the chairman of the controversial Popular Front of India (PFI). The couple visited P Aboobacker to thank him and the organisation for providing legal support to them during Hadiya’s court battle against her father.

Hadiya had converted to Islam from Hinduism, and her father, Asokan, had opposed this, claiming she was being radicalised.

Speaking to media persons, Hadiya said that though she approached multiple organisations in the beginning to seek help with the case, it was PFI and its members who stood by the couple throughout the crisis.

“Why should a person who wants to convert to another religion go through such hassle?” Hadiya asked. “If not for PFI members I wouldn’t have gotten any support for the decisions that I made. When I wanted to convert to Islam I had approached many other Muslim organisations, none of them helped. Only PFI members helped,” said Hadiya.

Both Hadiya and Shafin stressed that it was every adult’s Constitutional right to choose their religion, and the person they want to get married to.

"The Constitution gives everyone the freedom to choose their religion, which is a fundamental right of every citizen. All this happened because I embraced Islam," said Hadiya while interacting with the media.

"With the Supreme Court upholding our marriage, we feel we have got freedom," Hadiya said here.

“It is a person’s democratic right to choose a religion or marriage for himself. We are adults and when society denied us these basic rights, it was PFI who backed us and gave us legal support. So we are here to thank them,” said Shafin.

The PFI is a controversial outfit, that has been accused of radicalising the youth in the state. The Union government has been mulling a ban on PFI, after some of its cadres and former cadres had joined the Islamic State.

The president of its women’s wing, Sainaba, was acting as a guardian to Hadiya when she converted, and helped her find a husband in Shafin.

In the course of the case, the Kerala High Court had however annulled the marriage of Hadiya and Shafin – a move that has been roundly criticised by people across the country.  The Supreme Court on March 8 set aside the order of the Kerala High Court and upheld the couple’s marriage.

The SC said that its decision is based on Hadiya's statement that she converted to Islam out of her own free will. It questioned how the HC could annul a marriage between two consenting adults under Article 226 of the Constitution.

On Saturday, the couple also told the media that they will hold a detailed press meet on Monday.

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