state news

Kerala woman claims man forged marriage documents, forced her to convert to Islam

In a petition filed at the Kerala High Court, she alleged that the man had also planned to sell her as a sex slave to Islamic State terrorists.

A 25-year-old woman has moved the Kerala High Court against a man who allegedly forced her to convert to Islam, forged documents to marry her and was planning to take her to Syria and sell her to Islamic State terrorists as a sex slave, The News Minute reported.

The woman has asked the Kerala High Court to nullify her marriage to one Muhammad Riyaz and requested that the National Investigation Agency look into the case. The Kerala High Court will hear the petition on November 13.

Her lawyer V Sethunath told The News Minute that she had met Riyaz while studying in Bengaluru in 2014. In November 2015, Riyaz allegedly forced her to have sex with him, recorded it and used it to threaten her into continuing sexual relations. The petition said Riyaz made the woman join a madrassa and forged documents, including her Aadhaar Card, to reflect her new Muslim name. He allegedly used these documents to get their marriage registered in May 2016.

Sethunath said the woman managed to escape from Riyaz and his family in December 2016 and went back to her family in Gujarat, News18 reported.

But Riyaz had moved the Kerala High Court with a habeas corpus petition. “He threatened her in the court corridor by showing her some pictures on his phone,” Sethunath claimed, adding that she was scared and agreed to go with the man because of his threat.

Riyaz’s family allegedly locked her up in a house in Kerala’s Paravoor. In August, they flew to Saudi Arabia, where Riyaz allegedly made the woman watch videos of Islamic preacher Zakir Naik. In October, she managed to get access to a mobile phone and called her family, after which her father arranged for one of his friends in Saudi Arabia to help her fly back to India, the petition said.

The woman’s plea comes at a time that the National Investigation Agency said they had come across as least 90 cases of forced conversions in Kerala, including that of 24-year-old Hadiya, NDTV reported. Hadiya has been under house arrest after her marriage to Shafin Jahan was annulled by the High Court. The Supreme Court has asked her father to produce her in court on November 27.

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