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Hadiya asks for ‘freedom, release’, SC sets her free from parents’ custody

At the outset of the hearing, senior counsel Shyam Divan appearing on behalf of Hadiya’s father Asokan urged the court to hold interaction with her in camera.



New Delhi, Nov 27 : Her head covered in a red scarf, Hadiya, a 24-year-old Hindu woman from Kerala who converted to Islam, told the Supreme Court on Monday that she wants “freedom and release”. The top court set her free from the custody of her parents and directed that she be allowed to complete her studies at a Salem homeopathy college.

Allowing Hadiya to walk free, the bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra directed the Salem college to allow her to complete her house surgeon internship.

She studies in Salem’s Sivaraj Homoeopathic Medical Colleges and Research Institute.

Diminutive Hadiya spoke in Malayalam, which was translated for the bench by a lawyer.

She had to wait for about two hours before the bench decided to interact with her.

In arguments that were spread over nearly two hours, the clincher came as senior counsel Kapil Sibal told the court that he was not arguing on Hadiya’s marriage with Shafin Jahan or on her conversion to Islam or anything else but how she could be kept in the custody of her father.

Sibal, who appeared for Shafin Jahan, cited Article 21 of the Constitution saying that no person could be deprived of his life and liberty without due process of law.

The court directed that she be allowed to meet people as per the medical college hostel rules.

The court order came after the bench, also comprising Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, interacted with her for about 25 minutes during which she expressed her desire to complete her house surgeon internship and pursue her career as a homeopathic doctor.

“Freedom, release”, Hadiya said in response to a question from Justice Chandrachud “What is your dream for the future?”

She was in the custody of her parents for last eight months.

As the court inquired with whom she would be leaving after she is freed from the care of her parents, Hadiya said she would stay with her husband.

The question asked by Justice Chandrachud centred around qualification, interest in studies, perception of life, what she intends to do. She told the court that she wants to complete her internship and intends to become a full-fledged doctor.

The court directed the Kerala government to ensure that Hadiya safely reaches her medical college in Salem in the custody of plain clothes police personnel.

Directing the medical college to admit her and provide her hostel facilities, the court said, “She will be treated like any other student and will be guided by the hostel rules.”

If necessary, the expenses for pursuing the course and for the hostel shall be borne by the State of Kerala, the court said underlining that its order be “followed in letter and spirit by all concerned”.

At the outset of the hearing, senior counsel Shyam Divan appearing on behalf of Hadiya’s father Asokan urged the court to hold interaction with her in camera.

He said this to request the recall the October 30 order saying that the bench would interact with Hadiya in the open court.

Urging the court hear them first, Divan said that the constitutional question that arises is whether in a pluralistic society, can such radicalisation be permitted to go on.

On the other hand, National Investigation Agency (NIA) which is investigating the larger conspiracy behind what is being described as “Love Jihad” by a “well-oiled” Islamic organisation, told the court that it should first look at the “compelling material” that it has collected before interacting with Hadiya.

While in one breadth Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh told the bench that it (NIA) was not concerned with the Hadiya case and was looking into the larger conspiracy, at the same time he insisted the court should first look at the six pages of 100 page status report carrying “compelling material” on the existence of a well-oiled organisation engaged in indoctrinating vulnerable minds.

In a dig at the ASG Singh, Sibal in a banter, said they say “she is doctored, but she is a doctor”.

Sibal said that “She (Hadiya) should not be gagged. She should have liberty to go anywhere from here. She should have a right to decide about her self and personal autonomy. If the court thinks that Shafin Jahan has done anything wrong, then he can be acted against under the law but ‘you can’t stifle’ her voice.”

The court made it clear that NIA will continue with its investigation.

“We make it clear that the NIA investigation shall continue in accordance with law,” the court said in its order.

Hadiya was asked to be present in the court on Monday to ascertain her views on her marriage to a Muslim man, Shafin Jahan. Her parents have alleged it is a case of “forced conversion”.

Her father, Asokan, has alleged that she was a pawn in the larger scheme of indoctrinating and recruiting of ISIS recruits. Earlier, the Kerala High Court had nullified her marriage to Jahan and she was given in the custody of her father.

Shafin Jahan had challenged the Kerala High Court order of May nullifying his marriage with Hadiya and sought recall of the court order asking NIA to investigate the conversion of Hadiya to Islam and her marriage.

The court permitted her to approach it in case of any difficulty, hastily clarifying that this would not include admission in hostel or a college.


Centre Ready To Discuss All Issues Of Farmers: Hardeep Singh Puri

Hardeep Singh Puri said the government is ready to talk to the farmers on every issue with an open heart.




Hardeep Puri

New Delhi: In the midst of ongoing farmer protests against three farms laws, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Monday said the Centre is willing to address “all genuine issues of the farmers”, which can be resolved through dialogue.

Speaking to ANI today, Union Minister said the government is ready to talk to the farmers on every issue with an open heart.

“Our senior leaders have invited farmers for talks and are willing to address genuine issues. I firmly hope that all their genuine demands will be considered and issues will be resolved,” Mr Puri said.

He also said farmers have been told to shift their protest to the designated place in Burari ground and whenever there will be talks, all the issues will be up for discussion.

Responding to the farmers’ organisations claim that the government was placing a condition for negotiation and it was not possible to negotiate in this manner, Mr Puri assured that the policies of the government were in the interest of the farmers and there was no condition.

“Talks are always held without preconditions or preconceived notions. I sincerely hope that the ministers will listen to all their genuine demands, they will be considered and whatever problems they have, it will be solved,” Mr Puri said.

It is worth noting that constant discussions are going on among top leadership to establish a dialogue with the protesting farmers. The Prime Minister and the Home Minister have also appealed to the farmers to withdraw the movement.

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Amid cyclones, Andhra Police lends hand to disaster management

Policemen also took boats from the Fisheries Department to reach out to stranded people and also engaged the local revenue officials to supply food.




Cyclone Nisarga

Amaravati: In the recent heavy rains, floods and very severe cyclonic storm Nivar, Andhra Pradesh Police was on the forefront to save lives, feed stranded people and bring order amid the chaos, officers said.

The state witnessed torrential downpours in October and November powered by back-to-back cyclones, resulting in almost all the water bodies overflowing, causing much trouble to the common man and farmers alike.

Amidst these conditions, police personnel from constables to Superintendents of Police were working round the clock to help people.

“We had deployed almost 1,500 people from the district force for cyclone duties. We also got one platoon of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF). We were deployed continuously for almost 72 hours,” Prakasam’s Superintendent of Police Siddharth Kaushal told IANS.

Amid incessant rain, policemen were deployed at all spots where the streams and water bodies were overflowing, at coastal villages, and to assist the district administration in evacuation.

“We assisted district administration in crowd control. At least 10 rescue operations were carried out in the district to save lives,” said Kaushal.

The SP said a special control and command post, equipped with radio communication, was set up in case mobile phones stopped working.

“Even till today (Monday) morning, we had deployed police in some places, preventing vehicles going in certain roads which were still under water,” he said.

Policemen also took boats from the Fisheries Department to reach out to stranded people and also engaged the local revenue officials to supply food.

In Nellore district, which bore the brunt of Nivar, along with Chittoor and Kadapa, three policemen carried a two-month-old baby to safety in Nellore town.

Policemen manned the Midatalavagu, a water body in spate near Kondapuram village to secure people and their movement.

They also monitored the rainwater inflows and outflows at Somasila dam where three gates were opened.

On National Highway 16 (NH 16), near Janardhan Reddy colony in Nellore, police supervised repairs to the road to prevent disruption of vehicle movement.

In similar fashion, police have also enabled the repair of a damaged bridge near Baghat Singh colony on NH 16 and also cleared many trees which were uprooted.

They also rescued two farmers from the middle of a raging water body after they were stuck there.

Not just the elements, police were also compelled to battle rumours.

On Monday, a Nellore district police official busted some rumours circulating claiming that the Kundaleru dam was breached.


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‘Cheap stunts’: Shehla Rashid reacts to her estranged father’s charges

Shehla termed her father’s statement “absolutely disgusting and baseless” and said this was his reaction after a court barred him entry into their Srinagar house on November 17 in response to a complaint filed by the family against him under domestic violence.



Shehla Rashid

Shehla Rashid, student activist and the former students’ union leader of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), on Monday denied her estranged father’s charges that she is involved in anti-national activities. Abdul Rashid Shora, in a letter to Jammu and Kashmir police chief, had also claimed there is a threat to his life from Shehla, her sister Asma and his wife Zubeda Shora as well as her security guard, according to reports.

Shehla rubbished these allegations and has instead accused her father of domestic violence. “Many of you must have come across a video of my biological father making wild allegations against me and my mum & sis. To keep it short and straight, he’s a wife-beater and an abusive, depraved man. We finally decided to act against him, and this stunt is a reaction to that,” Shehla tweeted, posting a three-page letter.

In a series of tweets, Shehla talked about her father. She said that the was not a political matter, “as it has been going on ever since I came to senses” and also tweeted a letter to him from the mohalla committee in 2005 asking him not to abuse them.

“He had never, in his wildest dreams, imagined that his obedient wife and timid daughters would ever speak up against him. Since he was restrained from entering home by the Hon’ble Court, he’s trying to derail the judicial process by resorting to cheap stunts,” she said in one of the tweets.

“One may talk endlessly about justice, but charity really does begin at home. We have finally decided to not bear abuse silently, as silence only emboldens abusers. Here’s the court order restraining him from entering home dated 17-11-2020. Anything he says is an afterthought,” she added in her last tweet.

Rashid has also demanded a probe against the non-government organisations (NGOs) run by Shehla and accused her of having accepting money to join politics in the Kashmir valley, a charge denied by her.

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