No need for NIA probe in ‘love jihad’ case, Kerala govt tells SC

The Kerala government on Saturday told the Supreme Court that the police investigation into a prominent case of alleged ‘love jihad’ had revealed nothing worthy of being reported to the Centre under the 2008 NIA Act.

In an affidavit filed in the court, the state also underlined that the anti-terror agency National Investigation Agency, or NIA, did not have the mandate to carry out such investigations under the law that set up the agency to fight terrorism.

The case pertains to the forced conversion to Islam of Akhila Ashokan, alias Hadiya, and her marriage to Shefin Jahan. NIA’s preliminary probe into a “love jihad” case has also revealed a common link with another such instance where the “mentor” who persuaded Hindu girls to convert to Islam is a woman associated with the radical group Popular Front of India (PFI).

In fact, the CPI(M) government said the Kerala police were doing an “efficient” job investigating the Hadiya case until the Supreme Court intervened and, believing the NIA’s claims, transferred the investigation to the central agency.

The case grabbed nationwide attention after the Kerala high court annulled the marriage in May on a petition by Hadiya’s father, Ashokan, who claimed that she was forcibly converted and would be sent to war-torn Syria like the 21 missing persons from the state believed to have joined the militant organisation Islamic State.

It is to be noted that the Islamic Fundamentalists from the state had earlier protested against the verdict of High Court which annulled the marriage. It is shocking to see the Kerala Government taken a similar stance as that of the these Islamic Fundamentalists.