Ker­ala love ji­had case: Hus­band moves SC to freeze NIA probe

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - - FRONT PAGE - Ramesh Babu let­ters@hin­dus­tan­

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A Mus­lim man from Ker­ala, whose mar­riage to a con­verted Hindu woman trig­gered a na­tional con­tro­versy, moved the Supreme Court on Satur­day to freeze a Na­tional In­ves­ti­ga­tion Agency (NIA) probe into his wed­ding and al­leged his wife was be­ing tor­tured by her fam­ily.

In his pe­ti­tion, Shafin Ja­han said his wife Hadiya, ear­lier known as Akhila, is un­der phys­i­cal and men­tal at­tack by her fam­ily and that even ac­tivists were barred from meet­ing her. He also al­leged the probe was pro­ceed­ing with­out the su­per­vi­sion of a re­tired judge, as stip­u­lated by the top court.

“She is con­fined to her room and not al­lowed to meet any­one. Some of the Sangh Pari­var out­fits are also try­ing to threaten her,” Ja­han told HT. He also asked the apex court to lis­ten to Hadiya be­fore any de­ci­sion.

The case grabbed na­tional spotlight last year af­ter Akhila Ashokan, a home­opa­thy doc­tor, con­verted to Is­lam, took the name Hadiya and mar­ried Ja­han last De­cem­ber. But her fa­ther, an ex-ser­vice­man, ap­proached the Ker­ala high court, say­ing his daugh­ter was in­doc­tri­nated and forcibly con­verted. He also claimed she would be sent to Afghanistan or Syria, akin to 21 peo­ple miss­ing from Ker­ala who are sus­pected to have joined the Is­lamic State.

In May, the HC an­nulled their mar­riage and in Au­gust, the SC re­fused to stay the HC or­der and asked the NIA to probe the wed­ding. But weeks later, jus­tice T K Raven­dran who was as­signed to over­see the probe with­drew, cit­ing per­sonal rea­sons. “There are many at­tempts to brand me as a ter­ror­ist. Many such un­known cases will come up in com­ing days to tar­nish me,” Ja­han told HT.

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