KOCHI: The Kerala High Court reunited lesbian pair Adhila Nazrin, 22, and Fathima Noora, 23, through a landmark verdict on Tuesday and allowed them to live together. Adhila had filed a habeas corpus petition alleging that Fathima’s parents had abducted her on May 24 and forced her into “conversion therapy”.
The HC asked Fathima to be present before the court on Tuesday. “Inside the chamber, the judge asked us whether we wanted to live together. We said “yes”. And then, the court order was in our favour,” said Adhila, 22, a native of Aluva.
“To all those who face a similar ordeal, I hope our win sets an example and gives them the strength to fight against all odds,” Adhila told TNIE. “When I had posted the nightmare we were going through on social media, I received several messages from girls facing similar issues from their family members,” she said.
Fathima too sounded happy. “Finally, I’m with Adhila. I’m happy. But I’m also tired, physically and emotionally. I need some rest and have to settle down,” said Fathima, a native of Kozhikode.
This is not the first instance when the court has allowed a lesbian couple to live together. In September 2018, the Kerala High Court “set at liberty” a lesbian pair based in south Kerala and allowed them to live together.
The High Court order is an achievement for the LGBTQ, which still faces discrimination in society, said Siva, a member of Kozhikode-based Vanaja Collective, which is engaged in supporting the community and other marginalised groups.
“Fathima and I are tired and exhausted. The past few weeks have been hectic. We were tortured emotionally and physically by both of our family members,” said Adhila, who is with her partner in Kochi.
Asked about their plans, Adhila said, “We are planning to stay in Kochi for a few days. Then we will move to a new place and start our life.”
Duo sought shelter at a collective
Adhila and Fathima were in a relationship since their school days in Saudi Arabia. Later, when the families found out that they both are lesbian and wanted to live together, they strongly opposed their relationship and allegedly abused them physically. According to Adhila, they both had received death threats from family members.
On May 19, the couple decided to elope and seek shelter at Vanaja Collective. After reaching there, they both informed their families that they were safe. Fathima’s family reached the place and tried to take her with them forcefully. When she reported the issue to the police, they left.
On the same day, Adhila’s mother and sister visited them and convinced the couple that they would accept their relationship and gave a false promise to convince. Fathima’s family and said they would let them live on their own. Then, they were taken to a relative’s home in Aluva where Fathima’s family forcefully took her against her will to Malappuram. It is suspected that Fathima’s family was planning to send her to Saudi Arabia and marry her off against her will.