All you need to know about the Kerala ‘love jihad’ case

October 03, 2017 04:36 pm | Updated 08:32 pm IST

Shafin Jahan.

Shafin Jahan.

What is the case about?

The case pertains to the marriage of a Muslim with a Hindu woman after she allegedly converted to Islam. The Kerala High Court ruling on a Habeas Corpus plea, on May 24, 2017, declared the marriage null and void . The marriage was allegedly conducted on December 19, 2016 at the Puthur Juma Masjid near Kollam. The woman, a homeopathy student, allegedly changed her name. Shafin Jahan had met her with his family in August 2016 in response to her advertisement on a marriage website.

What happened after that?

Mr. Jahan moved the Supreme Court against the High Court ruling and requested the apex court to order the woman’s father to produce her. He claimed that her father is holding her in illegal confinement after the High Court “arbitrarily” annulled their marriage, condemning it as “love jihad”. ''It is not 'love jihad' if an adult Hindu woman, on her own volition, converts to Islam and marries a Muslim man according to Islamic rites, Mr. Jahan told the Supreme Court.

What does the father say?

According to her father, the woman is a helpless victim trapped by a “well-oiled” racket that uses “psychological measures” to indoctrinate people and convert them to Islam. He claims that Mr. Jahan is a criminal and his daughter was trapped by a network with connections to Popular Front of India and even the Islamic State. “My daughter once told me that she wants to do sheep-farming in Syria... even the most liberal of fathers would be shocked to hear this,” the father told the Supreme Court, adding that such conversions and marriages were not rare in Kerala. His daughter’s case was only the tip of the iceberg, he said.

What does the Supreme Court say?

The Supreme Court first ordered the National Investigation Agency to investigate the issue. On October 3, it, however, questioned the very annulment of the marriage by the High Court and the legality of the girl's father keeping her in his custody for the past several months.

What did the NIA tell the court?

The NIA had told the Supreme Court that the marriage is not an “isolated incident“ and it had detected a “pattern” emerging in Kerala. It submitted that it had found that the same people were behind the women’s conversion and marriage. “There is the same lady. The entities behind this are the same. The girls convert and they refuse to stay with their relatives. These people take them in and the marriage is done during that time... This matter requires further investigation.”

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