Ernakulam, Jan 11, 2018 : Ernakulam Rural Police have recorded the arrest of two persons in connection with the forced religious conversion of a Keralite woman, her sexual exploitation and conspiracy to sell her to members of the Islamic State in Syria.
The arrested men, Fawas Jamal and Siyad, are natives of Paravur in Ernakulam.
The key accused, Muhammed Riyaz (26), is untraced. He allegedly forced the 25-year-old woman to convert to Islam, coerced her into a sexual relationship and marriage and tried to shift her to Syria.
The woman, a native of Pathanamthitta who grew up in Gujarat, had filed a petition seeking the annulment of the marriage in the Kerala High Court in November 2017.
Police said Fawas and Siyad were complicit in the conspiracy and had aided Riyaz in keeping the woman captive in a house in Manjali near Paravur for about six months.
Riyaz is reported to be stationed outside India.
A V George, Ernakulam Rural District police chief, said the accused were booked under provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
"Riyaz had taken her to Jeddah and was planning to move her to Syria. She was made to watch the videos of (controversial preacher) Zakir Naik and was tortured," George told DH on Thursday.
The petitioner met Riyaz, a native of Thalassery, in Bengaluru where she attended college since 2014.
Riyaz is said to have recorded videos of their sexual acts, which he used to threaten her.
Their marriage was certified at the Hebbal sub-registrar office in Bengaluru, on May 21, 2016, using forged documents.
V Sethunath, the petitioner’s lawyer, told DH that witnesses to the marriage were activists of Popular Front of India from Kannur.
"He was considering the petitioner a sex slave. He had plans to go to Syria and informed the petitioner that within a few days they will shift to Syria. His plan was to sell the petitioner to IS terrorists," the petition said.
The petitioner said she was forced to attend training at a Bengaluru madrasa. She said Riyaz’s family was involved in the conspiracy and received money from "unidentified sources" following her religious conversion.
In October 2016, she returned to Ahmedabad but a writ petition filed in the high court by Riyaz, followed by his threats to publicise the videos, forced her to be back with him.
In August 2017, the petitioner was taken to Jeddah, from where she managed to escape and reach Ahmedabad in October.