Kerala love jihad: Women’s panel to move SC to file fact-finding report

Updated on Sep 24, 2017 08:30 PM IST

The Supreme Court had ordered the National Investigation Agency to look into the conversion as the agency claimed it was not an isolated case but there was a pattern in Kerala.

Hadiya, the Hindu woman who married a Muslim youth Shefin Jehan. (HT file photo)
Hadiya, the Hindu woman who married a Muslim youth Shefin Jehan. (HT file photo)
Press Trust of India | ByPress Trust of India

The Kerala Women’s Commission said on Sunday it would seek the Supreme Court’s nod to file a fact-finding report on allegations of rights violations by the parents of a Hindu woman in Kochi who married a Muslim man after converting to Islam.

The decision to move the apex court was taken in view of complaints from various quarters that the rights of the 24- year-old woman were allegedly being violated, commission chairperson MC Josephine told reporters in Kochi.

The woman was sent back to her parents’ house after the Kerala High Court recently annulled her marriage with the Muslim man, terming it as an instance of “love jihad”.

The Supreme Court on August 16 ordered the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to look into the conversion and marriage of the woman as the agency claimed it was not an isolated case but there was a “pattern” emerging behind these incidents in Kerala.

Josephine said the commission had received representations from various organisations, seeking its intervention following allegations of violation of the woman’s rights.

Since the matter was under the Supreme Court’s consideration, the commission required its permission to meet the woman and her parents and file a fact-finding report before it, she added.

Josephine said the commission had received a legal opinion from an expert on Saturday and based on it, it had decided to approach the top court.

Slamming a social media campaign being run by various groups in connection with the matter, she alleged that it was not being done to protect the rights of the woman.

“The commission is not interested in going after such a campaign. Such campaigns are not good. Such matters should be dealt strictly within the purview of law. All should cooperate to protect the democratic rights of the woman,” Josephine said.

Directing the NIA to carry out an investigation into the incident under the supervision of a retired judge, the Supreme Court had said it wanted the probe to be fair.

The NIA, being an independent agency based outside Kerala, could carry out such an impartial investigation, it had added.

The apex court had directed the NIA to submit its final investigation report before it.

Challenging the high court order, Shafin Jahan, who had married the woman in December 2016, had moved the Supreme Court.

It had been alleged that the woman was recruited by the Islamic State’s mission in Syria and Jahan was only a stooge.

Ashokan KM, the woman’s father, had alleged that there was a “well-oiled, systematic mechanism” for conversion and Islamic radicalisation in Kerala.

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