Kerala 'love jihad' case: College principal says Hadiya to continue studies under Hindu name Akhila Ashokan

Coimbatore/Salem: A Kerala woman, who is at the centre of an alleged love jihad case, will continue to pursue her studies under Hindu name Akhila Ashokan, principal of the college said on Tuesday.

Amidst tight security Hadiya (her Muslim name) arrived from New Delhi to proceed to Salem to resume her education at the college as directed by the Supreme Court on Monday.

She was not permitted to speak to the media at the airport in Coimbatore.

File image of Akhila, who converted to Islam in 2016 and took a new name, Hadiya. Reuters

File image of Akhila, who converted to Islam in 2016 and took a new name, Hadiya. Reuters

Accompanied by Kerala police, she later left by road to the Sivaraj Medical College in Salem to undergo an 11 month internship in Homeopathy.

A Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra had given the direction on Monday after interacting with her. Meanwhile, college Principal G Kannan said Hadiya will be treated as one of the inmates of the hostel and that no special treatment will be accorded to her.

She will be registered under her Hindu name Akhila Ashokan in the college, he told reporters in Salem.

The apex court has appointed the dean of the college as Hadiya's guardian and granted him liberty to approach it in case of any problem. She was earlier staying at her parental home in Kochi for several weeks.

The bench, also comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, had directed the college and the university to re-admit Hadiya and grant her hostel facilities.

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner of Police Subbbulakshmi, who held a meeting with college authorities in Salem, told reporters that adequate protection will be given to the woman. During the court hearing, Hadiya said she wanted to go with her husband Shafin Jahan and that he will take care of her education expenses.

Jahan had on 20 September approached the apex court seeking recall of its order directing the NIA to investigate the controversial case of conversion and marriage of Hadiya, originally a Hindu woman who converted to Islam.

The Kerala High Court had annulled the marriage terming it as an instance of 'love jihad', following which Jahan approached the Supreme court.

The top court had on 16 August directed the NIA to probe the incident under the supervision of retired apex court judge, Justice RV Raveendran.

The woman, a Hindu, had converted to Islam and later married Jahan. It was alleged that the woman was recruited by Islamic State's mission in Syria and Jahan was only a stooge.

Hadiya was in the custody of her parents for almost six months after the Kerala High Court had on 29 May anulled her 'nikah' with Jahan.

Ashokan KM, the father of the woman, has alleged that there was a "well-oiled systematic mechanism" for conversion and Islamic radicalisation.

Earlier on Tuesday, Ashokan welcomed the Supreme Court decision allowing his daughter to pursue her studies.

"Hadiya does not have any idea about Syria, where she wanted to go after converting to Islam... I cannot have a terrorist in the family," he added.

Ashokan also said he was sad that his daughter had to undergo such "unpleasant experiences because of which her studies were interrupted."

"But now I am happy as the court has allowed her to study further," he told reporters in Delhi.

Ashokan said he was not worried about Hadiya's security in Salem, as she was now under the protection and observation of the apex court.

Updated Date: Nov 28, 2017 19:08 PM

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