“She is not a minor but a 25year-old girl. She is a strongminded girl and not a weak person to get indoctrinated. Everything will be crystal clear if the judges talked to her,” Shafin Jahan’s counsel Kapil Sibal and Indira Jaising said.
“Have you heard about the game Blue Whale Challenge? You can lead people anywhere after psychologically influencing them,” the bench replied. The court said, “You are right. She is a 25-year-old girl. But why does she give three names at different times before the HC? Why does a professionally qualified homoeopath leave her profession all of a sudden?”
As the SC bench of Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justice DY Chandrachud took heed of additional solicitor general Maninder Singh’s assertion on behalf of National Investigation Agency (NIA) that Akhila case “does not appear to be an isolated incident” of voluntary conversion, Shafin’s counsel insisted that the judges interview Akhila.
At the core of the case before the SC was Akhila Asokan converting to Islam and then suddenly marrying a Muslim. Their marriage was annulled by the Kerala HC suspecting it to be an instance of wider love jihad network in the state and husband moved the apex court to challenge the HC order.
The court was expressing concern over the psychological angle involved in both the alleged love jihad and the cases of suicide of children playing the internet-based Blue Whale Challenge, also known as Blue Whale Suicide Game.
What the SC conveyed was that it would not be fruitful to interview Akhila about her choice till it got in hand the details of the probe into alleged indoctrination of young Hindu girls by a network which targeted those distressed because of disagreement with parents.
NIA partly confirmed the fear of Akhila’s father K M Asokan, who has filed an affidavit in the SC saying his daughter’s conversion and ‘charade’ marriage to Shafin “is a part of a well-funded, wellorganised and systematic network in Kerala to wean away unsuspecting and impressionable youth, indoctrinate and radicalise them”.
NIA in a note to the SC said investigations by Kerala Police have revealed that Markazul Hidaya, Sathyasarani Educational and Charitable Trust, are being run by Popular Front of India/Social Democratic Party of India. It said it has been found that Sathyasarani is involved in conversion of many persons in Kerala.