Akhila Ashokan popularly known as Hadiya, a 24-year-old woman from Kerala who converted to Islam to marry a Muslim man, is back to college to continue her studies.
Hadiya travelled a distance of 170 kilometers from Coimbatore to Shivaraj Homeopathy Medical College in Tamil Nadu’s Salem amid tight security provided by the Kerala Police on Tuesday night.
Shivaraj Homeopathy Medical College students including her classmates and teachers greeted her. According to reports, the security in college campus was beefed up by Tamil Nadu Police in accordance to the directives given by the Supreme Court on Monday hearing.
Hadiya was seen wearing a yellow scarf. After a short meeting with her fellow students she whisked away to the managing director's office. After her meet with the college authorities she was taken to the college hostel, around five kilometers from college administrative building, in a police vehicle.
Hadiya will be undergoing a 11-month internship at the institution as directed by the top court on Monday. Shivaraj Homeopathy Medical College principal G Kannan informed the media that she will resume her classes from Wednesday.
He said, “She will continue her course under her Hindu name Akhila Ashokan and she will be treated as other students. I will ensure she completes the course without a hitch.”
Prior leaving for the hostel Hadiya told the media that she requested permission to meet her husband from college officials. “I hope they will allow me to meet my husband,” said Hadiya.
The college authorities said, “We will go by the police advice. It is our responsibility to maintain her security.”
Hadiya’s husband Shafin earlier in the day said, “It was a big victory for him. I hope our separation will end gradually. The Supreme Court did not give any directives on me meeting her. I hope to meet her soon.”
While Hadiya’s father K M Ashokan, a former army man, said, “If Shafin tried to harass my daughter, I will move to the court to restrain his moves.”
Her mother, Ponnamma, claimed that two of her classmates indoctrinated and converted her with the help of fundamentalist groups. “What makes me sad is that she was forced to marry a man with extremist links,” she said.
Hadiya’s return to college and freedom from her parent’s custody was possible due to the Supreme Court. A bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra while interacting with Hadiya on Monday had asked her about her school, why she chose medicine as her study, what she does during her free time, what were her hobbies during her college days. The apex court after interacting with Hadiya directed her to resume her studies.
The 24-year-old’s marriage to a Muslim man and conversion had triggered widespread controversy across the country. Several political leaders and Hindu fundamentalists had termed her conversion as love jihad.