“I am a Muslim. Nobody forced me to convert”

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Repeating her earlier stance, Kerala’s Hadiya has said that she was a Muslim and nobody had coerced her into embracing Islam.

Speaking while leaving for Delhi to attend the Supreme Court hearing on Monday, Hadiya said, “I am a Muslim. I want to go with my husband. Nobody forced me to convert.” The apex court will hear her version on 27 November into the case of alleged love jihad. She was asked by the Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice Deepak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud to be present during the hearing.

Hadiya on Saturday left Kochi in Kerala for New Delhi for the hearing of the case on November 27.

Hadiya had converted to Islam before marrying Shafin Jahan in Kerala. Her parents had made stunning allegations that their daughter was indoctrinated to leave her Hindu religion to join the ISIS. A charge that the 24-year-old Hadiya has rubbished on multiple occasions.

Earlier on Saturday, Shafin had filed a complaint alleging that attempts were being made to reconvert her to Hinduism ahead of her being produced in the apex court on Monday.

The Supreme Court had on Wednesday rejected Hadiya’s father’s plea seeking urgent hearing of the case, which has prompted many to ask if the government and judiciary had any role in determining an adult individual’s right to choose a life partner.

Hadiya, whose original name was Akhila Ashokan, had married Jahan after she met him on an Islamic matrimonial site. Her father had approached the Kerala High Court, which had annulled the couple’s marriage in May this year. The High Court was later reprimanded by the Supreme Court, which despite having ordered an NIA probe, had questioned if the the former had exceeded its judicial brief by cancelling the couple’s marriage.

The Supreme Court had later directed the NIA to probe the matter to examine if the marriage between Hadiya and Shafin Jahan amounted to Love Jihad.

Hadiya’s testimony on 27 October will be made in an open court.

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