By Express News Service
NEW DELHI: KM Ashokan, father of Hadiya aka Akhila, on Tuesday welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision allowing her to continue studies in Salem but said he could not allow a terrorist in the family.
The apex court, during a hearing on the Kerala 'love jihad' case yesterday, said the college should allow the hostel facility to Hadiya and also ordered her college dean to be her guardian after she requested for it. This decision was taken after the court questioned Hadiya in the case, where she told the apex court that she wanted to be with her husband.
“We never abused her. I am happy with the Supreme Court. I was worried about her education and wanted her to study. Now I am happy," Ashokan told the media.
“She has no idea about Syria, where she wanted to go after converting to Islam. I cannot have a terrorist in my family,” he added.
“I am not worried about her security in Salem as she is now under the protection and observation of the Supreme Court,” Ashokan said.
Ashokan, however, denied allegations that she had been kept under house arrest. “She was fully surrounded by the police inside and outside the house,” he said.
The 25-year-old hit headlines after the Kerala High Court annulled her marriage to Shafin Jahan on grounds that she was forcibly converted to Islam. However, Hadiya had told NIA investigators that she had converted to Islam out of her own will. On Saturday, before leaving for Delhi for the SC hearing, she had said that she wanted to live with her husband. She also told the court that she was in custody for the last 11 months and wanted to complete her studies.
Ashokan said he was sad that his daughter had to undergo these unpleasant experiences. “Her studies were interrupted but now I am happy that the court has allowed her to study,” he added. He also said he would go to Salem and meet her if necessary. “The court has not appointed anyone as her custodian, not even her husband Shafin Jahan. Only close relatives like me can go and meet her,” he said.
The Supreme Court also directed the Kerala Police to provide security to Hadiya and ensure that she travelled to Salem safely. To help Hadiya settle in the college hostel again and address any arising problems, the apex court also appointed the dean of the college as her guardian. She left for Salem from New Delhi on Tuesday with a team of Kerala Police and is expected to arrive there in the evening.
The top court will now hear the matter next in third week of January.
Earlier, the NIA had submitted a status report in a sealed cover to the top court in connection with the case.
The apex court has been hearing Hadiya's case after Jahan approached the top court following the Kerala High Court annulling his marriage with Hadiya.
While Hadiya's parents have been alleging that her marriage was a case of 'love jihad' and that she was converted to Islam forcibly, Hadiya has refuted these claims so far.
(With ANI inputs)