No one forced me to convert, want to be with husband: Hadiya

Hadiya, the 25-year-old woman at the centre of Kerala's controversial "love jihad" case, on Saturday reiterated that her conversion to Islam did not involve coercion.

The homoeopathy graduate from Vaikom in Kottayam district said she wanted to be with her husband Shafin Jahan. In May, the Kerala High Court had annulled their marriage.

Hadiya (Akhila Ashokan, before she converted to Islam) spoke to reporters briefly at the Cochin International Airport, amid high police security, before leaving for New Delhi for a hearing at the Supreme Court, scheduled for Monday.

"I want to be with my husband, I demand justice. I'm a Muslim, no one forced me to change my religion," Hadiya told reporters after she arrived at the airport with her parents, K M Ashokan and Ponnamma.

She was escorted by a team of police personnel from her home in Vaikom to Kochi. Shafin Jahan had stated in a police complaint that attempts were being made to reconvert Hadiya to Hinduism.

On October 30, the Supreme Court said it would hear Hadiya in the case which has triggered national interest over reported organised attempts at conversions to Islam in Kerala.

Ashokan, Hadiya's father, has submitted in the apex court that his daughter was "misled and misguided" to embrace Islam and Shafin Jahan has links with radical outfits.

A S Zainaba, president of the National Women's Front - women's wing of the Popular Front of India - was identified as a key figure in the Hadiya case and other cases of religious conversion in the state.

Reported to have coordinated mass proselytisation at Sathya Sarani, a Malappuram-based organisation, Zainaba has denied role in Hadiya's conversion.

The apex court has directed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to probe possible links of these conversion rackets with recruiters for terrorist outfits, including the IS.

The Kerala government has, however, maintained that the police investigation on the case is on course and a NIA probe into the religious conversions was not required.

Hadiya and family are scheduled to stay at the Kerala House In New Delhi.

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