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.
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.
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.