June 20, 2018

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

11 October 2017, 10:22 | Winifred Adams

The minister said this in reference to a high-pitched war of words yesterday between two lawyers during the hearing of the sensitive Hadiya case, related to an inter-religious marriage in Kerala, in the apex court.

The Supreme Court ordered an investigation by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) into the circumstances of the woman's conversion and into charges of radicalisation of Hindu women in Kerala. She also has given a statement that she was influenced by Zakir Naik videos on Islam and observing her Muslim friends. 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.

The state police have referred over 94 inter-faith marriage cases to NIA.

NIA claims that Athira alias Ayesha has recently reconverted to Hinduism after converting to Islam a few months back.

Several Hindutva groups have alleged a conspiracy behind cases of marriage between Muslim men and Hindu women, and have termed the trend love jihad.

The affidavit by the Kerala government comes days after the Supreme Court observed that "a father can't dictate life of a 24-year-old daughter" while hearing the "Love Jihad" case.

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

In both these cases, the NIA suspects the role of Popular Front of India (PFI).

The police has till so far furnished a list of 90 such conversions wherein "gullible" girls were allegedly converted to Islam and in most of the cases there was a pattern that points towards inducements and psychological brainwashing by certain radical groups, sources said.

The role of Malappuram Sainaba A.S, president of PFI's women's wing, the National Women's Front (NWF) is being probed in the Athira and Hadiya cases.

Ashokan K M had alleged that PFI activists forced his daughter Akhila Asokan to convert and take the name of Hadiya. The one's who converted were Bestin Vincent (Yahiya) and Merrin Jacob (Mariyam), as well as Bexen Vincent (Isa) and Nimisha (Fatima). But Jahan approached the Supreme Court against the annulment.

In fact, the top court had also question the Kerala High Court how it could annul the marriage of Hadiya and Shafeen Jahan under Article 26. The couple took their daughter Sarah along with them.

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