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Hadiya Flying to Delhi for SC Hearing: Father’s Lawyer Tells TNM

Hadiya, the 25-year-old Muslim convert whose appearance in the Supreme Court is being eagerly awaited by many in Kerala, will be flown to Delhi on Saturday, 25 November.

She will fly out of Cochin International Airport at 6pm on Saturday evening, a CIAL official confirmed. Hadiya is set to appear before open court on 27 November to give her side on the case of her conversion and marriage, which the SC is currently hearing.

Though the decision was to take her to Delhi by train, we were asked by the government to arrange air travel, as there were security concerns about the train journey. Also, the Kerala government is flying Hadiya to Delhi at its expense.
Lawyer representing Hadiya’s father to TNM

However, Shafin Jahan, the man Hadiya married in December 2016, told TNM that he had not yet received any information regarding the decision to fly Hadiya to Delhi.

Hadiya’s case has attracted national attention, ever since the Kerala High Court had annulled her marriage to Shafin. The court had raised doubts based on Hadiya’s father Ashokan’s allegations that his daughter (earlier called Akhila) had been lured into conversion to Islam and marriage, and there were plans to take her to Syria.

Ever since the HC verdict, Hadiya has been confined to her parents’ home, not being allowed to go outside or meet anyone without her father’s permission.

 

There have been allegations raised about Hadiya’s safety and well-being  in her home, with Hadiya herself saying in a video that she fears for her life.

After Shafin filed a special leave petition in the SC, the apex court had ordered a National Investigation Agency probe into the allegations raised by Ashokan, and the question of whether Hadiya’s case was part of an organised conversion effort. On 30 October, the SC directed that Hadiya should be heard in open court, as it was the court’s obligation to hear her side of the story too.

Following this, Shafin had approached the Kerala police chief Loknath Behera on 14 November, expressing concerns about her safety. He had told the police chief that the three-day train journey to Delhi would worsen Hadiya’s health condition and had requested that Hadiya be flown to Delhi for the SC hearing.

Though Hadiya’s father Asokan, had approached the SC on Tuesday, asking that his daughter’s testimony be recorded in camera, and not in open court, the court rejected this plea.

 

On Monday, Hadiya is scheduled to testify before the court on the circumstances of her conversion and whether there was any compulsion involved in it.

(The article was originally published on The News Minute.)