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


The Kerala government may have opposed an NIA probe into "love jihad" but only recently, it furnished a list of around 90 cases of "forced" conversions and alleged luring of women into inter-faith relationships including marriage to the central investigating agency. Speaking to India Today, a senior officer of the NIA said, "We have spoken to both Athiras who have said they were lured". 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.

'Kerala police has now sent the details of 92 cases, but in the initial phase the agency was concentrating only on 32 cases, which involved Hindu women, ' said an NIA officer. However the agency has so far not discovered any terror angle to the conversion. In both these cases NIA suspects the role of Popular Front of India (PFI) and Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI). She told the agency after reconversion that she was influenced by Zakir Naik's videos on Islam and also after observing her Muslim friends.

The second Athira from Palakkad eloped with a Muslim man and converted to marry him.

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These include Hadiya's father as well as mother of one Nimisha, who had converted to Islam and migrated to IS-controlled territory in Afghanistan past year along with her husband. Father Ashokan KM had alleged that PFI activist forced his daughter Akhila Asokan to convert and take the name Hadiya. The agency said they are probing 94 inter religion marriages, and in PFI is suspected to play a role in 23 of them.

The case is under consideration of the Apex Court now, which had ordered the NIA investigation into it.

The Kerala High Court on Tuesday while hearing the Hadiya case observed that "all inter-religious marriages can not be termed love jihad".

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During the course of the hearing the counsel appearing for the Yoga centre said that this was a case of Love Jihad.

The bench said it was looking for legal and logical answers to its primary question - whether the HC could annul a marriage in a father's petition seeking to know the whereabouts of his daughter. NIA investigation is now focused on ascertaining PFI link to these marriages is limited to converting people to Islam or training them for terror activities.

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