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Kerala High Court Grants Bail to Accused in 'Forceful Conversion' of Gujarat-based Woman

The girl who lives in Gujarat approached the Kerala High Court, alleging that she was forcefully converted to Islam in Kerala, married through fraudulent means, used as a sex slave and that her husband Riyas had plans to take her to Syria.

Neethu Reghukumar | CNN-News18

Updated:April 12, 2018, 9:51 PM IST
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Kerala High Court Grants Bail to Accused in 'Forceful Conversion' of Gujarat-based Woman
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Thiruvananthapuram: Mohammed Riyas, the main accused in the alleged forceful conversion of a 25-year-old Gujarat-based woman, has been granted bail. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had earlier arrested Riyas for forcefully converting and trying to sell off the woman to the Islamic State in Syria.

The complainant had also alleged that she was used as a sex slave in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The Kerala High Court granted him bail on the condition that he would not travel to any area outside the investigating agency’s jurisdiction.

The girl who lives in Gujarat approached the Kerala High Court, alleging that she was forcefully converted to Islam in Kerala, married through fraudulent means, used as a sex slave and that her husband Riyas had plans to take her to Syria. Her complaint to the court states that Riyas had taken her to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia when she escaped his clutches by informing her father.

NIA took Riyas into custody from Chennai airport on February 2 when he was coming back from Jeddah.

Sources had told News18 that they had not found any proof of his involvement with the IS.

Riyas's cousin Fayas was also arrested along with real estate agent Siyad for allegedly helping the accused rent a house. They were both granted bail earlier by the NIA court.

They were charged under sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and IPC.

Riyas had filed an affidavit in the Kerala High Court denying all allegations and stating that they were legally wedded. He also clarified that the charges of him planning to take her to Syria and make her watch Zakir Naik’s videos were also false and baseless.

The affidavit further stated, "There was only some marital discord between us and she went to Gujarat as her father had some health issues. The petition also stated that in a habeas filed by Riyas in 2017, the girl herself had told the court that she wants to go with Riyas and they went to Jeddah because his family was there. His father was working there for the past 25 years."

Her complaint in the Kerala High Court however stated that she was studying in Bengaluru in 2013 when she met Muhammed Riyas, a resident of New Mahe in Kannur. The two got into a relationship when he a private video.

According to the petition, he later blackmailed the girl with these visuals and forced her to convert to Islam and marry him.

V Sethunath, counsel for the woman said that Riyas’ mother was also hand-in-glove with the accused and that she was sent for religious classes and forced to watch to Zakir Naik's videos.

After her wedding, the woman went back to her family in Gujarat when Riyas filed a writ petition. Counsel Sethunath said that she was blackmailed into saying that she went back on her own will and she was threatened with her objectionable photos.

Later, she was taken to Kozhikode, where her passport name was changed to Aisha and she was taken to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. She further alleged that she was forced to be his sex slave in Saudi and was told that she will be taken to the Islamic State territory in Syria. When she somehow managed to contact her parents, they sent her a ticket to return to India when she finally came back on October 3.

She later approached the court to nullify the marriage and sought NIA investigation into matter. The case, which was being probed by the Kerala police, was later handed over to the NIA.
| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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