ibusinesslines.com January 21, 2018

Kerala HC says 'All inter-faith marriages can't be termed love jihad'

11 October 2017, 10:21 | Melissa Porter

Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad during a press conference at BJP Headquarter in New Delhi

Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad during a press conference at BJP Headquarter in New Delhi

In 23 of these cases, he said, the investigators hoped to be able to link the individuals concerned to the Popular Front of India, a radical Islamic outfit that has been under the scanner of security agencies after its members chopped off the hand of a professor in Kerala in 2010. Both specifically told that they were not coerced, ' the officer said. Speaking to India Today, a senior officer of the NIA said, "We have spoken to both Athiras who have said they were lured". The Supreme Court had ordered the NIA probe, but the Kerala government went up before the top court questioning the need for such an investigation. "The conversion can not take place through luring".

Both women named Athira, with different surnames recently appeared before the NIA office in Kochi and recorded their statements wherein they said they were induced into converting their faith from Hinduism to Islam. She was also reportedly influenced by Muslim friends. The cases involve marriages of men and women of three faiths - Hindu, Christian and Islam.

The agency has sought a list from the Kerala Police of the converts who switched their faith since 2015 and subsequently entered into marriage with Muslims.

As told by a source, the other woman had eloped with a Muslim man and converted herself to Islam to the nuptial knot with him.

Later, the high court annulled the marriage, calling it a case of "love jihad", and sent Hadiya back to her father's custody.

His comments came days after the state government informed the Supreme Court that its police had conducted a "thorough investigation" into the conversion of a Hindu woman to Islam and her subsequent marriage to a Muslim man and did not find material warranting the transfer of probe to the NIA.

Her father moved the Kerala High Court and claimed his daughter was indoctrinated and forcibly converted.

Hadiya, formerly Akhila Ashokan, converted to Islam and married Shafin Jahan in 2016.

In fact, the top court had also question the Kerala High Court how it could annul the marriage of Hadiya and Shafeen Jahan under Article 26. The NIA is likely to await directions from the court as the case involves conversion for the objective of terror.

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