In a surprising turn of events, Athira, a postgraduate student from Kasaragod, who had converted to Islam last month and took the name Ayesha, has now returned to Hinduism.

Addressing a press conference, which she attended with her parents in Kochi on Thursday, Athira, 23, stated that she was a victim of peer pressure, misguidance and conspiracy.

"I deserted my dharma for another religion under pressure from some of my classmates. But later I realised that I was misguided and that my dharma itself is the ideal religion for me. Therefore, I have returned to it. I am no longer Ayesha, but Athira," she said.

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Athira also stated that the Popular Front of India (PFI) and Zakir Naik's speeches played a key role in her decision to convert to Islam. "The PFI was very involved once I reached there. They specifically told me not to tell the police about their involvement if asked," she added.

Read more: Athira, the missing Hindu girl, returns as Ayesha after converting to Islam

Athira had gone missing from her home in Udma on July 10, leaving behind a letter which said she wants to study Islam. She returned three weeks later converted into Islam and with a new name, Ayesha. 

Athira was then produced at the first class judicial magistrate's court in Hosdurg, where she stated that she got converted on her own volition.