Attempt to sell Kerala women as sex-slave to ISIS; 2 held in Kochi

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Kochi, Jan 11: Two people have been arrested by Kerala Police on charges of helping a Muslim man “forcibly” convert a Kerala woman and attempting to take her to Syria to be sold off to Islamic State terrorists as sex slaves.

Fayaz Jamal and Mohamed Siyad, both natives of North Paravur near Kochi, were arrested on Wednesday following investigations based on a complaint by the 25-year-old woman, who was rescued from Saudi Arabia and brought home last year by her family.

The two have been charged under various sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Indian Penal Code.

Fayaz and Siyad are friends of Muhammad Riyaz from Thalassery in Kannur district, the prime accused in the case.

“They have been charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act,” Ernakulam Rural SP A V George said, adding a hunt is on to arrest eight more accused, including Riyas, in the case.

He said the police have begun a probe into their alleged link with the Islamic State terrorists.

The Rural SP said that both Fayaz and Siyad were arrested based on the woman’s complaint that she was allegedly tortured by them in a house in North Paravoor before Riyaz took her abroad.

The woman had alleged that Riyaz pretended to be in love with her when she was studying in Bengaluru in 2014 and forced her to convert to Islam and married her.

The complainant, hailing from Pathanamthitta of Central Kerala, was brought up in Gujarat and met her husband Riyaz during her stay in Bengaluru. She claimed that after her marriage she was forcibly admitted in a madrasa in North Paravur and was forced to learn the tenet of Islam. Furthermore, she alleged that her husband used to take videos of their intimate moments and later blackmail her.

She had moved the Kerala High Court last year seeking an NIA probe against Riyaz for attempting to take her to Syria from Saudi Arabia and sell her to the Islamic State terrorists as a sex slave.

The police registered a complaint against the husband and the other two accused after the woman complained before a court. The husband of the victim is still at large. Reportedly, the police tried contacting the Interpol to trace and deport Riyaz, who is believed to be in Jeddah.

According to the woman, she was locked in a room in Saudi Arabia, but she, however, managed to access her mobile phone and contacted her parents, following which a group of NRIs rescued her and flew her back to India.

As per official figures, more than 100 people from Kerala – including women and children – had allegedly joined the ‘jihad’ waged by the Islamic State radicals, operative in Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq.