Published: Fri, August 18, 2017
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Kerala woman's conversion: NIA tells SC 'pattern' emerging in southern state

Kerala woman's conversion: NIA tells SC 'pattern' emerging in southern state

The case pertains to the annullment of the marriage of a Hindu woman to a Muslim man, post her conversion, by the Kerala High Court as it amounted to "Love Jihad".

The bench however, appointed former Supreme Court judge justice R.V. Raveendran to oversee the investigation for allaying fears of the petitioner of a possible bias and listing of the case after the NIA submits its probe report.

The SC is trying to ascertain if 25-year-old Hindu girl Akhila who converted to Islam to become Hadiya and married a Muslim youth Shafin Jahan, was trapped by a "well-oiled racket that uses psychological measures to indoctrinate people and persuade them to join terrorist organisations such as ISIS", as alleged by her father and endorsed by the state high court.

"It does not appear to be an isolated case", Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh, who appeared for NIA, told the court.

After getting inputs from all, including the NIA, Kerala government and others, the bench said it would decide the issue.

The High Court, which had described Jahan's marriage as an instance of "Love Jihad", also ordered the state police to probe such cases. Now, a 24-year-old woman (in Kerala) takes a decision on her own (to marry a Muslim man), what happens to that independent decision?

The order came after the agency told the court that the marriage in question could be part of a "larger mechanism" to convert Hindu girls to Islam. "Have you heard about the Blue Whale challenge?". "Have you ever heard about the Blue Whale challenge?"

"We have arrived at some observations based on the court's order", Singh said. "Such things can do people to do anything", justice Khehar told Mr Sibal. Prima facie it has been found that entities are common in these cases. The woman, a Hindu, had converted to Islam and later married Jahan.

Akhila is said to have switched religion through the Therbiyatul Islam Sabha in Calicut.

Prior to Sibal's submissions, senior advocate V Giri, appearing for the Kerala police, informed the apex court that the State police was willing to withdraw from the investigation and was ready to hand over all documents related to the case to the central probe agency. Also in case the NIA fails to reach the roots, the Kerala authorities will have ample scope to put the blame on the agency and get itself rid of any baggage.

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