Family of missing Kerala youth welcome SC order handing over ‘love jihad’ probe to NIA

The investigation agency told the court that case Hadiya Shefin was not an isolated occurrence but had similarities to several other cases among the 21 missing youths from the state.

india Updated: Aug 16, 2017 23:43 IST
Ramesh Babu
Ramesh Babu
Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram 
Kerala,Love jihad,Islamic State
Hadiya Shefin with her husband for whom she converted from Hinduism to Islam.(HT Photo)

Parents of some of the missing youth believed have joined the Islamic State lauded the Supreme Court order to transfer the alleged “love jihad” case of Kerala to the National Investigation Agency.

While hearing the case, the NIA informed the Supreme Court that Akhila Ashokan’s (Hadiya Shefin) conversion to Islam and subsequent marriage to a Muslim youth was not an isolated incident and earlier cases also bear many similarities. Her father contended that her daughter was a victim of so-called “love jihad” and all chances are there she might be dispatched to a conflict zone like Syria.

“It is a great relief for us. We would like the NIA to probe earlier incidents also. Nobody heard us properly,” said Bindhu, mother of Nimisha alias Fathima who was among the missing 21 from the state reportedly joined the Islamic State along Afghan-Syria border. Last month she had moved a writ petition in Kerala high court seeking its help to locate and repatriate her daughter.

“More than a year passed since the disappearance of my daughter who gave birth to a baby recently. Many agencies probed it but I am yet to get some concrete information. I really fear she will be used as a human bomb,” the distraught mother said adding that a well-oiled syndicate was working in the state to spot gullible victims and convert and despatch them to war-torn areas.

Nimisha (27), a Hindu who converted to Islam and became Fathima, had gone missing with her husband Bexon alias Easa, a Christian convert, since June 2016. Bexon’s brother Bestin, who changed his name to Yahiya, was reportedly killed in the US drone attack a couple of months back.

“There is well-organised syndicate to spot victims and indoctrinate them. In my daughter’s case the main suspect is still around and working in a reputed hospital. Later my daughter was forced to marry a Christian convert as the former said being a true Muslim he couldn’t marry a convert,” Bindhu said. She said she produced many evidences to prove the involvement of the main suspect and others but police shied away from questioning him. She said she was not against any religion or belief, but sending an innocent to war-torn areas after indoctrination was a cruel game.

The father of another missing youth, who asked not to be identified, said the NIA probe will help open the can. “We gave enough evidences to police but they ignored them. Though they arrested a couple of persons from Mumbai they failed to detect the main forces/organisations behind the heinous crime. We suspect some of them enjoyed political patronage,” he said.

First Published: Aug 16, 2017 23:43 IST