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Activists meet women’s commission to investigate rights violation of Hadiya

LiveMint logoLiveMint 20-09-2017 Nidheesh M.K.

Bengaluru: A group of activists on Wednesday met the Kerala Women's Commission to press for an investigation into suspected violation of human rights of Hadiya, a woman confined to home by her parents after her marriage to a Muslim man was annulled by the court.

The activists presented a letter to the commission, endorsed by 120 reputed writers, academics and social workers to probe is 24-year-old Hadiya is facing harassment over her decision to convert from Hinduism to Islam. 

The move follows a series of reports in both local and national media that showed Hadiya, who is engaged in a legal battle with her parents since her decision to convert two years ago, is living with her parents perhaps against her own will. 

Also read: How Hadiya case is testing the limits of civil rights of women in Kerala 

While Hadiya insists she chose to convert, and later marry, as per her own will, her family argues she is the victim of a so-called love jihad, where Hindu women are seduced, converted and married to Muslim men; and was on her way to be recruited to terror outfit ISIS. 

In May, Kerala high court annulled her marriage and in August the Supreme Court tasked National Investigation Agency to probe the case. The high court also transferred Hadiya to her parents' house with police protection, but she claims to be held under restrictions and being barred from interacting with people, something that has riled rights activists.

Following this, some activists have stared a social media campaign called #Justiceforhadiya” on Twitter. Recently, six young women attempted to meet her, but were turned away by her parents. The women claim they saw Hadiya pleading for help from the window of the house. 

J. Devika, a writer and professor on gender at Kerala-based research institute Centre for Development Studies, said in an email that these reports have led to fears of citizens concerned about the violation of women’s rights and human rights in the Hadiya case and drafting the petition. Several activists who belong to the left of the political spectrum has endorsed it, including the state government’s gender advisor T.K. Anandhi.

The petition said there is ample reason to think that Hadiya’s stay at her parents' residence is in violation of her rights and those who trying to meet her are dismissed by her parents and certain radical Hindu elements. As a result, it requested the commission to visit Hadiya and clear the air on harassment allegations.

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