Kerala govt defends police in apex court

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The CPI (M) government praised the Kerala Police and said that they were doing an " efficient" job with the investigation, until the Supreme Court interfered and believed the NIA's claims, transferring the case to the central agency, The Hindu reported.

The Pinarayi Vijayan government in its affidavit submitted to the top court has rejected the claims of the NIA that the alleged conversion a Hindu girl, who married a Muslim man, is part of a "pattern" of religious conversions and radicalisation happening in Kerala.

It also said the probe did not reveal any scheduled offences warranting a National Investigation Agency (NIA) probe as directed by the apex court.

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In its response filed in the apex court in the petition filed by Shafin Jahan seeking to recall the order, Kerala said during the two-month long "thorough" investigation by the Kerala Police, no such incriminating material was found that called for an intervention by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

Hadiya "love jihad" case: Shefin Jahan with Hadiya (Akhila). But Jahan approached the Supreme Court against the annulment. It added that the "Kerala police is competent to conduct investigation in such crimes" and it would have reported to the Centre in case of any incident requiring the involvement of NIA. Earlier a Bench headed by former Chief Justice J S Khehar had ordered the NIA probe.

On May 25, the Kerala High Court declared as "null and void" their marriage, terming it a "sham" and ordered that Hadiya be placed in her parents' protective custody.

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"As women's rights activists from across the country, we urge you to take steps to ensure that Hadiya is not forcibly confined in the home of her natal family, denied the right to cohabit with her husband, and be subjected to coercion for exercising opting for faith of her choice", the letter to the Chief Minister read.

The next hearing has been scheduled for October 9.

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