A Plea to the Kerala State Women’s Commission: End the Virtual House-arrest of Dr Hadiya
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The Chairperson,
Kerala State Women’s Commission.
Sub: Concerns regarding the well-being and safety of Dr Hadiya at the residence of Sri Asokan.
Dear Madam
We, the undersigned, a group concerned about the protection of citizens’ rights in India, wish to bring to your notice what may be potentially a serious violation of such rights, in the case of Dr Hadiya, daughter of Sri Asokan and Smt Ponnamma,a twenty-four-year-old woman, who is presently staying at her father’s residence at TV Puram, Kottayam. The case has received much attention in both the local and national press, and so we will not recount the details. We however wish to express our anxiety at several reports that indicate quite convincingly that her rights as a woman and citizen are being grossly violated in Mr Asokan’s house, and police protection provided is working in effect as a system of incarceration. Visitors to the house who sought to meet Hadiya have been turned away roughly, cases of trespassing have been slapped on them, and Dr Hadiya herself is apparently prohibited from meeting and talking with anyone. In the few instances in which visitors, such as the TV personality Rahul Easwar, have managed to see/reach her, she has expressed extreme distress and agony.

Indeed, Dr Hadiya was virtually dragged out of her hostel and forcefully conveyed to her parents’ home by the police after the High Court annulled her marriage of her choice. This was broadcast on popular channels on 26 May 2017. When six women sought to visit her with onam gifts on August 30, 2017, he refused to allow them in, and Smt Ponnamma abused them verbally. These women have persistently claimed that they saw Dr Hadiya stand near the window and heard her call for help, and that she complained of being beaten. Though these visitors did not enter the premises and were on their way back, they were slapped with charges of unlawful assembly and criminal trespass at the behest of Sri Asokan.

On 27 August 2017, Dr Hadiya sent a message to her chosen partner Shafin entreating him to help her. The message was sent from her mother’s phone, and it appears that her access to it was temporary.

In the light of these incidents, especially the extreme responses of Mr Asokan to attempts by concerned members of the public to contact Dr Hadiya, we feel that the case calls for an inquiry by the State Women’s Commission to ascertain whether she is being held there against her will and in violation of her rights to free interaction and mobility. Police protection by itself does not require such violation of the protected person’s rights. The NIA’s inquiry too is no reason for forcible confinement and denial of the company of visitors and friends. There is ample reason to think that Hadiya’s stay at the TV Puram residence is in violation of her rights. From the accounts of those who tried to meet her and were dismissed roughly by local people who seem deeply influenced by Hindu radicalism, her family members, and the police, there is also effort to portray her as ‘mentally imbalanced’.

We, as concerned citizens, urge you to visit the house where she presently resides to meet her and clear the anxiety that we feel about her rights and personal well-being.
Thanking you in advance,
1. Anusha Paul ,Journalist, Documentary film maker
2. Shabna Sumayya, Artist
3. Bhoomi J N , Student , Kerala University
4. Sajna P , Exam Counsellor , Gateway Institutions, Calicut
5. Ammu Elizebath Thomas , Student , Bangalore University
6. Mridula Bhavani ,Reporter/Journalist –Narada News
7. Mangai, Theatre person, Tamilnadu
8. Janaki Nair, JNU
9. Amit Bhaduri, Professor Emeritus, JNU
10.Mini Krishnan, Senior Editor, OUP
11.Arunava Sinha, Literary translator
12.Nalini Rajan, Asian College of Journalism, Chennai.
13.J Devika, Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram
14.Bindu KC, Ambedkar University
15.Meera Velayudhan, Independent Scholar
16.R Srivastan, Literary Translator
17.Samita Sen, Jadavpur University
18.V J Varghese, Hyderabad Central University
19.Ravi Sundaram, CSDS, New Delhi
20.Geeta Seshu, journalist, Mumbai
21.Oishik Sircar , Assistant Professor , Jindal Global Law School
22.Bindu Menon, Lady Sriram College, DU
23.Pradip Datta, Professor, DU
24.Sohail Hashmi, writer, film maker
25.Dr Kausar Wizarat , Assistant Professor, Higher Professional Education
26.Sania Hashmi documentary film maker
27.Moggallan Bharti, Lecturer
28.Sarah Hashmi, actor
29.T P Rajeevan, poet
30.M Parthasarthi, professor, EFL, Hyderabad University
31.Mrityunjoy Mohanty, Professor IIM ,Calcutta
32.Padmini Swaminathan, Visiting Professor, Council for Social Development
33.Anandhi S, Professor, MIDS, Chennai
34.Aditya Nigam, Professor, CSDS, Delhi
35.Rekha Raj, Amnesty International; dalit feminist
36.Anitha Thampi, poet
37.G Arunima, JNU
38.Veena Naregal, Professor, IEG, New Delhi
39.C.P.Geevan, Independent Researcher, Ahmedabad
40.R Nagaraj , Professor, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGIDR) Mumbai
41.Shibi Peter, Centre for Social Studies and Culture
42.Savithri Rajeevan, poet
43.Yasser Arafath, professor, DU
44.Farah Naqvi, Delhi
45.Ritu Dewan ,Director and Professor Department of Economics, University of Mumbai
46.Anil Tharayath, New Delhi
47.M Madhava Prasad, Professor, Department of Cultural Studies, EFL University
48.A Suneetha, Anveshi, Hyderabad
49.Sukumar Muralidharan, journalist, professor, Jindal University
50.Sunanda Sen, Professor Emerita, JNU
51.Bijoya Ray, Professor, CWDS, New Delhi
52.Dileep Raj, MGU
53.Akeel Bilgrami, Professor, Columbia University
54.E V Ramakrishnan, Professor, Central University of Gujarat
55.Anitha Sharma, Tree Walk, Thiruvananthapuram
56.M T Ansari,Professor, Hyderabad Central University
57.Prabhu Prasad Mahapatra, Professor, Dept of History, DU
58.Monobina Gupta, Journalist, New Delhi
59.Laxmi Murthy, Journalist, Bangalore
60.Ritty Lukose,Professor, New York University
61.Uma V Chandru, Bangalore
62.BRP Bhaskar, Journalist and Human Rights Activist
63.K R Meera, Literary author
64.Roby Rajan, Professor, University of Wisconsin
65.Sumit Sarkar, Historian, Professor Emeritus, DU
66.Tanika Sarkar, Historian, Professor, JNU
67.Jai Sen, CACIM.
68.Mary E John,feminist scholar and Professor, CWDS, N Delhi.
69.Tejaswini Niranjana, Independent researcher, Bangalore
70.Udayakumar, Professor, JNU
71.Anand Teltumbde, professor,journalist and activist
72.Uma Chakravarti, historian, civil rights activist, feminist
73.Rana Behal, Retd Professor, DU
74.Kavita Krishnan, Secretary, All India Progressive Women’s Association
75.Rohit Azad, Associate Professor CESP, JNU
76.M Vijaya Baskar,Professor, MIDS
77.Ashish Nandy , Political Psychologist, Social Theorist and Critic. Honorary Fellow (CSDS)
78.Jasodhara, coordinator, SAHAYOG
79.Suchithra M, journalist, Kochi
80.Binitha V Thampi, Associate Professor, IIT Madras
81.Urvashi Butalia, publisher, Zubaan
82.Rita Kothari. Professor, Translation Studies, IIT, Gandhinagar
83.Rajni Palriwala, Professor, DU
84.Satish Deshpande, Professor, DU
85.Maitrayee Mukhopadhyay, Professor, feminist scholar, KITS, Amsterdam
86.Malavika Karlekar, Retd Professor, JNU
87.T K Anandi, Gender Advisor, Government of Kerala
88.Vidhu Vincent, journalist and film maker
89.Dr Rohini Hensman, writer and independent scholar, Bombay
90.Brinelle D’Souza, TISS, Mumbai
91.Astrid Lobo Gajiwala , Feminist Theologian
92.Meena T Pillai, Kerala University
93.Susie Tharu women’s activist. Professor, Department of Cultural Studies
94.Ashish Kothari, Pune, environmentalist, founder of Kalpavriksh
95.Vani Subramanian, Secretary, Saheli Women’s Resource Centre
96.Sangeetha Chatterjee, doctoral student, Rutgers University
97.Virginia Saldanha, Secretary, Indian Christian Women’s Movement
98.Radhika Singha, Professor, JNU
99.Nivedita Menon, feminist scholar and Professor, JNU
100. Ranjani Mazumdar, Professor, JNU
101. C Gouridasan Nair, journalist, Thiruvananthapuram
102. Rajashri Dasgupta, Journalist, Kolkata
103. Karen Coelho, Professor, MIDS, Chennai
104. C S Venkiteswaran, Thiruvananthapuram
105. Madhavi Menon, Professor of English, Ashoka University
106. Madhu Bhaduri, New Delhi
107. Svati Joshi, Retd professor, DU
108. Chayanika Shah, for LABIA, A queer feminist LBT collective
109. Janaki Abraham, Professor, DU
110. Uma Bhrugubanda, EFLU, Hyderabad
111. T T Sreekumar, EFLU, Hyderabad
112. Sajitha Gowri, artist
113. VihaanPeetambar, QUEERALA, TGI Justice Board, Ernakulam
114. Gita Chadha, University of Mumbai
115. Renny Thomas, DU
116. MT Joseph, Professor, Dept of Sociology, University of Mumbai.
117. D W Karuna, Researcher, Chennai
118. Mercy Alexander, Coordinator, SAKHI Women’s Resource Centre
119. Aleyamma Vijayan, SAKHI
120 Kamayani Bali Mahabal ,feminist , Mumbai
121. Varsha Basheer, Affiliated Faculty, University of California, Berkeley.