Police have informed the Kerala high court that a Muslim man who allegedly tried to sell a Hindu woman to Islamic State (ISIS) after a ‘fraudulent marriage’ could not be traced out. Seizing the opportunity, National Investigation Agency (NIA) has told the court that it is willing to take up the case if the court permits.
Police’s submission was in the form of a statement filed by assistant inspector general G Sreedharan in response to a petition filed by 25-year-old woman from Ranni, who is presently residing at Jam Nagar in Gujarat. She had sought an NIA probe by alleging inaction by state police and had said in the petition that her ‘husband’ Muhammed Riyas was planning to take her to Syria.
As per police’s statement before the court, an enquiry was conducted at Kannur at the address of Muhammed Riyas and he was not present at the address. The house was found closed and neighbours said he was staying at Bangalore and Ernakulam for the past 10 years. His family members were not staying at the house but they used to visit in between, with the last visit being a year ago. The house has been remaining closed and his family members went somewhere in Ernakulam but their whereabouts are not known, the court was told.
Muhammed Riyas and woman stayed at the house of a relative of Muhammed at Mannam in Ernakulam for three months but now their whereabouts are not know, police’s statement said. No further details are forthcoming regarding the allegations raised in the petition, the statement said.
While the petitioner has sought registration of appropriate criminal cases, the omnibus prayer is vague as most of the incidents is at Bangalore and abroad and the petitioner is a resident of Gujarat, the statement by police further said.
“It is incorrect to state that Government of Kerala is a mute spectator, no complaint is received from the petitioner regarding commission of any cognizable offence,” police’s statement to the court said.
As per the petition, woman was studying animation at Bangalore since 2013 and she fell in love with Muhammed Riyas, who was staying near her hostel. In November 2015, he invited her to his room and had sexual intercourse. He recorded a video of it and then subjected her to sex again by threatening her with it. She was then taken to a training centre and forcefully converted to Islam. On May 21, 2016, they registered their marriage at Hebbal sub registrar office. Muhammed then procured a passport for her. She returned to Gujarat on October 15th last year fearing him. Muhammed then filed a habeas corpus petition before the Kerala high court and she was “constrained” to go with him and to tell the court that she wants to live with him. She was then taken to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. She escaped from there as Muhammed was planning to take her to Syria and reached Kochi on October 5th this year, the woman had alleged in the petition.
While agreeing to a probe in the matter, NIA told the high court that it cannot take up the investigation directly but can do so if the court directs for it. NIA informed the court that it can take up investigation of only those cases in which there is a court order, where the central government has directed so, or if the state government has asked the central government for such a probe.