New Delhi, Oct 11: The National Investigative Agency (NIA) is conducting a probe into 90 inter-faith marriages that took place in Kerala over the last two years while investigating alleged ‘love jihad’ cases in the state. The NIA is examining the 90 cases of inter-religion marriage received from Kerala to see if Hindu women were lured for conversion and joining terror outfits.
However, the Kerala government told the Supreme Court that there was no need for the NIA to probe alleged ‘love jihad’ case of Hadiya. The central counter-terror agency has recorded the statements of two Hindu girls, Athira Nambiar from Palakkad and another Athira from Bekal in Kasargod who alleged they were lured to convert to Islam. In both the cases, the NIA suspects the role of ‘radical’ Muslim outfit Popular Front of India and its political arm Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI).
Athira alias Ayesha has recently reconverted to Hinduism after converting to Islam a few months back. She said she was influenced by the video of controversial preacher Zakir Naik. The second Athira eloped with a Muslim man and converted to marry him. Though the NIA is yet to question Akhila Ashokan, who took the name Hadiya after conversion, it has started examining 90alleged cases of ‘forced conversion’ registered by Kerala Police since 2015.
“The cases relate to forced conversions, inter-faith relationships and marriages, with complainants alleging a larger effort to ‘lure’ women to convert to Islam,” an officer was quoted as saying by Times of India. The officer, however, added that the ANI had not found any evidence so far to establish that girls were lured and forced to convert to join terror activities.
In August, the Supreme Court had ordered the NIA to probe if the marriage of Hadiya was a case of love jihad. “In Hadiya’s case, her father’s fears that she was forced into marriage with ShafinJahan to be taken out of the country to join the Islamic State was found to be without basis as she did not even have a passport,” an NIA officer said. Four months ago, the Kerala High Court sent Hadiya with her parents K.M. Asokan and Ponnamma after annulling her marriage with Shafin Jahan.