DGP told to file a statement

Two persons file petitions for anticipatory bail

High Court also seeks statement from Centre

Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Wednesday directed the Director General of Police to furnish the court details regarding the number of cases in which women of other religion were forcibly converted to Islam.

Justice K.T. Sankaran, while considering anticipatory bail petitions, directed the DGP to file a statement within three weeks on the following aspects as well: is there a movement called ‘Romeo Jihad’ or ‘Love Jihad’ working in the State; if so, what are their plans and projects; which organisations are involved in such activities; where does the money come for all these activities; how many school and college students and youngsters were thus converted into Islam in the last three years; does the alleged project have an all-India basis and magnitude; has it got financial support from abroad; is there any connection between the ‘Love Jihad’ movement and counterfeiting, smuggling, drug trafficking and terrorist activities?

The anticipatory bail petition was filed by Shahan Sha and Sirajudeen who have been charged with abduction and forcibly converting two MBA students to Islam. According to the police, the petitioners feigning love had abducted the girls and put pressure on them to convert to Islam. They were taken to a person who was stated to be an organiser of the women’s wing of the Popular Front of India. The girls were later produced before the High Court after their parents filed a habeas corpus petition. The court allowed them to go with their parents as per their request.

The court, which went through the case diary, said there were indications that several similar instances took place in the State.

It was stated that there was a movement called Romeo Jihad or Love Jihad, conceived by a section of the Muslims, by which Muslim boys were directed to pretend love to girls of other religion and get them converted to Islam.

The court pointed out that every citizen was entitled to “freedom of conscience and the right to freely to profess, practice and propagate religion as enshrined in Article 25 of the Constitution. This right did not extend to the right to compel a person professing a religion to convert to another religion.”