Careful There, Don’t Let The Hadiya Case Be Used To Portray Islamist PFI As Victim

by Swarajya Staff - Nov 28, 2017 06:56 PM +05:30 IST
Careful There, Don’t Let The Hadiya Case Be Used To Portray Islamist PFI As VictimThe Popular Front of India (PFI) is a highly organised force. (PFI via Flickr)
  • The Supreme Court has only instructed Akhila aka Hadiya to return to Salem to resume her studies. It is likely, however, that the PFI would use this to whitewash not only its conversion racket, but also its terror activities.

The Supreme Court yesterday (November 27) gave its verdict on the Akhila aka Hadiya case, which has become a representative case of ‘love jihad’ in the country. The Supreme Court instructed Akhila to return to her studies in Salem, in line with her wishes, but refused to comment on her marriage to Shafin Jahan. The marriage had been annulled by the Kerala High Court which saw it as an umbrage to judicial authority, as it happened while the case was going on without the knowledge of the court.

However, throughout the case, the role played by the Popular Front of India (PFI), a known Islamist organisation, in Akhila’s indoctrination had come into focus. It was under the mentorship of Sainaba, the chief of the women’s wing of PFI, that Akhila’s conversion and subsequent marriage were carried out.

PFI is a name that is slowly becoming synonymous with Islamist terror in southern India. It had gained nationwide notoriety when 13 of its activists had chopped off the hand of a Christian professor in Kerala for what they deemed was an act of blasphemy by the professor.

PFI is a vast organisation, with a political wing, the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) , a women’s wing, National Women's Front (NWF) and several other affiliates and “charitable trusts” associated with it. The NWF chief Sainaba has been linked with several religious conversions in Kerala, notably in the case of Athira, who returned to Hinduism renouncing her conversion to Islam in September. Sainaba has been found as a common mentor to both Akhila and Athira, and a sting operation by IndiaToday has revealed how PFI operated its conversion racket.

Following several cases of PFI being found involved in terror acts, the NIA had in September asked the Ministry of Home Affairs to place a ban on it.

Hadiya’s case has been exceptional, primarily because the Kerala High Court had exercised its power to annul the marriage between between Akhila and Shafin Jahan. Shafin was a SDPI activist and allegedly held sympathies for jihad, as established by the Kerala Police. Shafin’s appearance as Hadiya’s husband was abrupt, and was the reason why the Kerala High Court had struck down the marriage. Whether it was a clever ploy to put the case to rest is anybody’s speculation.

The case has cast a shadow on inter-faith marriages occurring across India, particularly between Muslim men and non-Muslim women. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is now investigating 94 such marriages, 23 of which had PFI involvement. All these marriages followed a similar pattern, with the women being converted to Islam before the marriage.

Why this is not a victory for the PFI

For one, the court has not commented on Hadiya’s marriage in its order. It has only ordered her to go back to Salem to resume her studies. Using this to claim that the court found nothing objectionable in the circumstances of Akhila’s conversion and marriage is misrepresentation of the facts. Second, the PFI, which is a known Islamist organisation, would only claim legitimacy from such false claims.

The PFI’s role in running conversion rackets in Kerala with money from the Gulf is well known and established. The involvement of its activists in terror activities is too well known, and established. In such a context, no such activity of any its members can be assumed to be innocent.

It is the duty of the state to uphold the freedom and dignity of Hadiya. It is also its duty, and of the people, to fight radical Islamist forces like the PFI.

Also Read:

Hamid Ansari attends event co-organised by Jihadi organisation, PFI: here’s a list of their crimes

- NIA probe into Love Jihad case: have those outraged read the Kerala HC’s judgement?

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