October 1, 2009 10:12:49 am
Kerala has a new concern: love jihad. The state High Court on Wednesday directed the Kerala Police and Union Home Ministry to probe the alleged movement,under which young Muslim boys reportedly target college girls for conversion by feigning love.
The court also asked the state and Centre to look into the sources that fund the love jihad,the number of girls who have got trapped in the racket in the past three years and its extremist links,if any.
Justice K T Sankaran was hearing anticipatory bail applications of two Muslim youths,accused of luring two MBA students into marriage for reportedly the purpose of religious conversion. The court rejected their bail pleas.
The two youths were allegedly associated with Campus Front,a student outfit of the right-wing Muslim organisation Popular Front of India (PFI).
Earlier this month,the parents of the two girls had filed a habeus corpus in the high court after their daughters were found missing. On being produced in court,the girls deposed that they were trapped by the youths and forced to convet to Islam. Allowing them to go with their parents,the court had asked the police to probe the charges of forced conversion after trapping girls in love affairs.
The students,originally residents of Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram,had been studying in a college in Pathanamthitta. According to them,one of them fell in love with a senior and eloped to marry him. This senior allegedly handed over the other girl to his friend. The girls told the court that they were taken to a centre in Malappuram where they were given literature and shown visuals promoting religious extremism.
Police officials admit that there are cases of girls having been converted forcibly or trapped into adopting Islam. The groups focused on girls from well-settled families,a majority of them Hindus, sources said.
Senior PFI leader Naseerudheen Elamaram refuting charges against his organisation said,Religious conversion is not a crime; conversion takes place to Hinduism and Christianity also… One cannot paint all love affairs as cases of forced conversions meant for extremist activity.
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