March 22, 2018

Kerala government soft on terror, says Ravi Shankar Prasad

11 October 2017, 10:22 | Lena Norman

Islamic movement - Popular Front of India - suspected as NIA investigates 32 alleged 'love jihad' cases in Kerala

Hadiya and her husband Shafin Jahan

It must be noted that earlier, the Kerala government had said that if the apex court wants an NIA probe, it has no objections. Both also specified that they were not coerced.

The counter-terror agency says it has recorded statement of three women who say they were lured to convert to Islam.

NIA officials said in at least two cases, women said they were lured into inter-faith marriages. The agency will also need to find evidence that the conversion was taking place to train them for terror activities. "We spoke to the both Athiras and both have said they were lured", a senior NIA officer said. She was also reportedly influenced by Muslim friends.

Reconverted to Hinduism, Athira alias Ayesha from Kasargod is said to have told interrogators that she was influenced by controversial televangelist and wanted accused Zakir Naik.

The Supreme Court had earlier asked the investigation agency to probe "love jihad" case in Kerala following a petition by a Kerala-based Muslim man whose marriage with a Hindu woman last December was annulled by the Kerala High Court.

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The second Athira from Palakad eloped with a Muslim man and converted to marry him. The court has not given its judgement on the validity of the woman's marriage, though it wondered whether the high court had the power to annul the marriage, and the case has been adjourned. In both these cases NIA suspects the role of Popular Front of India (PFI) and Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI).

Considering the habeas corpus petition filed by one Anees Hameed from Kannur district, seeking the release of his wife Sruthi Meledath from her family's custody, Kerala High Court on Tuesday warned against the indiscriminate use of "love-jihad" as an excuse to break up inter-religious couples.

Shafeen Jahan married Akhila Ashokan in December past year after she converted to Islam and rechristened herself as Hadiya.

While Hadiya's case may have propelled other cases of alleged "Love Jihad", NIA's own investigation revealed that conversion of four non-Muslims took place in 2014 who later joined a group of 20 traveling to Afghanistan to join ISIS. But apart from being a law minister, I am also a senior lawyer of the Supreme Court of India.

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