Kerala conversion case: College is ‘prison’, have been denied the freedom I asked for, says Hadiya“My demand in the court was freedom, the freedom to meet my husband, but the truth is that I am not free now. I didn’t get freedom.”
Barely hours after Kerala woman Hadiya was allowed by the Supreme Court to return to her studies in Salem, the 24-year-old has said that she was still not free and that she was still waiting for permission from college authorities to meet her husband Shefin Jehan.
Addressing a press conference outside the Sivaraj Homeopathic medical college where she was studying when she married Jehan, Hadiya said, “My demand in the court was freedom, the freedom to meet my husband, but the truth is that I am not free now. I didn’t get freedom.”
Hadiya said her college was yet to decide on her boundaries and were still in the process of figuring it out. She said they should be given a few days to set out the rules for her and only then would she be able to clearly state whether she is truly free or not.
“I am demanding basic rights that every Indian citizen has. It has nothing to do with politics or caste. All I want is to talk to people I like,” Hadiya said.
Hadiya’s comments come two days after the top court passed an interim order stating that “Hadiya be taken to Salem so as to enable her to pursue her internship/housemanship” in the homeopathy college where she was studying when she married Jehan.
Born a Hindu, Akhila alias Hadiya converted to Islam while doing her BHMS course and married Jehan, a Muslim man. Their marriage was annulled by the Kerala High Court in May this year which called it a sham and of no consequence in the eyes of the law.
Jehan then moved the Supreme Court against the High Court order. But a two-judge bench, headed by the then CJI Justice J S Khehar, ordered an NIA investigation and said it would also examine the contention raised by her father Asokan that her conversion to Islam was done fraudulently.
The apex court is yet to pronounce on the plea by Jehan, questioning the Kerala High Court’s authority to annul his marriage to Hadiya.
Hadiya’s college principal G Kannan, whom the Supreme Court has appointed as her guardian, earlier said he would not allow anyone except her parents to visit her.
Hadiya, however, said she would be allowed to meet her husband, adding that the police had promised that.