The Telegraph
Friday, December 15, 2017

Love jihad list strike rate low

First published on 05-Nov-2017
The NIA headquarters in New Delhi. Picture: Prem Singh

New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency has found no evidence of wrongdoing in most of the 90 "love jihad" cases it is probing in Kerala, a senior official of the federal anti-terror agency said.

But he added that the agency harboured "prima facie" suspicion of induced conversions and radicalisation in nine cases.

"We are examining 90 inter-faith marriages that took place in Kerala in the past two years. Till now, we have found a prima facie pattern in only nine cases of Hindu women having been brainwashed into converting to Islam," the official said.

"We are investigating the possible role played by a radical Islamic outfit, the Popular Front of India (PFI), and its political wing, the Social Democratic Party of India."

In September, Kerala police had under state high court orders handed over these 90 cases to the NIA to probe whether they were part of a "love jihad" conspiracy. The term refers to an alleged plan by extremist groups to indoctrinate, convert and induce Hindu girls into love marriages with Muslims, with the aim of recruiting them as terrorists.

A second NIA official claimed two of the nine women under the scanner -residents of Palakkad and Kasaragod - had acknowledged being brainwashed by the PFI into eloping and marrying Muslims.

Union home ministry sources said there was a proposal to ban the PFI under the anti-terror law, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The outfit has denied the terror and "love jihad" charges.

Under a Supreme Court directive, the NIA is also probing the case of 25-year-old Hadiya, whose father Ashokan alleges she was forced into converting to Islam and marrying a Muslim.

Kerala High Court had nullified the marriage in May on the ground that the woman had been brainwashed and radicalised. The Supreme Court will hear Hadiya out on November 27.

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