‘Husband wants to sell me to Islamic State,’ Gujarat woman tells NIA

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is treading cautiously on a complaint filed by a Gujarat-based woman that her husband forced her to convert to Islam and wanted to sell her off to Islamic State terrorists in Saudi Arabia.

The NIA has sent the couple’s mobile phones for forensic analysis to extract ‘mirror images’ of the messages and pictures exchanged between them.

She was frustrated

An official said the couple met in Bengaluru and married two years ago. The woman told investigators that she was frustrated as her husband forced her to wear a veil and cover her head whenever they went out.

The husband — Muhammed Riyas Rasheed — was arrested on February 4, a day after he was detained at the Chennai airport on his return from Jeddah in Saudi Arabia where he was working.

An official said that after the recent observations by the Supreme Court in the Hadiya case that courts cannot resort to a “roving enquiry” on whether the married relationship between a man and woman is based on consent, the NIA was moving cautiously in the case.

“In the current case, the woman met her husband Rasheed, now an accused, at a computer centre in Bangalore. He moved to Bangalore after failing to clear the first semester of his engineering course in Kerala. They got married and moved to Kerala,” said an NIA official. The official said that after a few months, the woman returned to her parents.

Case against nine

The NIA registered a case against nine people, including Rasheed, and on January 30 following an order of the Kerala High Court. The woman had moved the court last year after reading about the Hadiya case.

The Gujarat-based woman said the accused had married her through deceit by forging documents and “forcibly converted her to Islam.”

Rasheed, according to the NIA, had illegally confined and threatened her in Kerala before taking her to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in August, 2017 to join the terror group.


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