The father of a Kerala woman, whose marriage to a Muslim man is being investigated after she is alleged to have been forcefully converted and radicalised, has filed a police complaint against activist Rahul Eashwar for taking a video of the family without their knowledge and later posting it on social media and distributing it to various news channels, News 18 reported on Wednesday.
The woman Hadiya, 24, was born Akhila Ashokan. She allegedly converted to Islam after her marriage with Shafin Jahan.
In the video released by Eashwar, Hadiya could be heard arguing with her mother over her conversion to Islam. “For how long should I be like this?” she said in the video, according to News 18. “Is this what my life is going to be? Ask them why do they scold me when I do my prayers?”
Hadiya’s father Ashokan said Eashwar had “cheated” them, reported the Hindustan Times. “He took the video without our knowledge,” he said. “What is shown in the video is also not correct. Being the grandson of Sabarimala thantri (main priest) we gave him some consideration and allowed him to visit us. But we never thought he will become a tool in the hands of fundamentalist outfits.”
However, Eashwar said he had taken the family’s permission before making the video, reported News 18. “I wholeheartedly welcome the complaint,” he said. “Let the police enquire. I have taken permission from the father and videographed that too. Let the police also enquire if there was any pressure on the father to file a complaint.”
On August 16, the Supreme Court had ordered the National Investigation Agency to look into the case of the woman’s alleged conversion. Earlier, the court had asked the police to share details of the case with the NIA. In May 2017, the Kerala High Court had annulled the marriage between Jahan and Akhila Ashokan after her parents had filed a complaint alleging that she had been forced to convert to Islam and change her name to Hadiya. The 24-year-old woman had denied this claim. There were also allegations that she had been forced to convert by people with links to the Islamic State group.