Kerala woman's conversion: NIA tells SC 'pattern' emerging in southern state

Kerala woman's conversion: NIA tells SC 'pattern' emerging in southern state

The court ordered that National Investigation Agency (NIA) will probe the case under the supervision of Justice RV Raveendran.

The girl, named Akhila, was allegedly kidnapped and wrongfully confined in Kerala's Malappuramn district before she was married to a Muslim man Shafin Jahan and later force to convert into Islam and change her name to Hadiya.

A bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud had taken a serious note of the objection raised by the counsel for Kerala-native Shafin Jahan that the NIA should not be allowed to peruse the investigation records of the police in the case.

Last week, the top Court had ordered the Kerala Police to share with the NIA the probe details of a case. "We wanted to see whether it is an isolated case or a larger issue is involved", the bench said.

To this, the bench said it would certainly like to talk to the woman but not at this stage and it would be appropriate to first go through the inputs from NIA, Kerala Police and other stakeholders. Earlier, the apex court had sought a response of the NIA and the Kerala government on the plea of Jahan.

It directed the probe agency to furnish the report to it after completing the investigation.

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"If we talk to her now, everything would be over", the bench said, adding let the investigation into the matter be over. The SC order comes after Kapil Sibal, said the court should decide the issue after speaking to the girl.

Senior advocate Indira Jaising and Sibal opposed the name and suggested that since it was a inter-faith controversy the apex court must be careful in choosing a retired judge who should be not be a resident of Kerala.

It was alleged that the woman was recruited by Islamic State's mission in Syria and Jahan was only a stooge.

That's what Hadiya's father, Ashokan K M, argued in the Kerala court, while alleging that Mr Jahan has links to ISIS operatives.

The woman's father said that her case was "not an isolated case of conversion of a Hindu girl to Islam but is a systematic attempt and indoctrination to convert Hindus into Islam and it requires an investigation".

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