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NIA submits status report on Kerala conversions

In a status report filed before the Supreme Court on Monday, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) said they have examined five women and a man, who claimed that they were lured to convert to Islam and a “common thread” ran through all the cases.

The 70-page report in a sealed cover was filed by the agency pertaining to the ongoing investigation in the case where Asokan, father of a 25-year-old Hindu woman, has alleged that his daughter was forced to convert to Islam and marry a Muslim man.

As reported by The Hindu, the NIA told the apex court that it was not able to question Akhila Asokan alias Hadiya even once as her father said she was not in “right frame of mind.”

The NIA said its officers had examined nine such cases of conversion to Islam. In at least four cases, the involvement of members of Popular Front of India (PFI) was established. The agency said it had examined a woman named Sainaba, an activist of the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) —the political arm of the PFI — would question her again.

Earlier this week, Kerala-based social activist Rahul Easwar released a 17-second video of Akhila where she is heard speaking about the threat to her life from her father. The apex court on Monday asked Asokan to produce Hadiya on November 27, the next day of hearing.

Kerala Police had handed over a list of 89 cases to NIA where families or individuals had alleged they were asked to forcibly convert to Islam. Of these cases, more than 32 pertained to Hindu men and women and the remaining belonged to other religions.

“There is a common intention behind all the conversions. Some individuals might have converted to Islam on their own will but it was being done in an organised manner. It may not have any terror angle at all. The inter-faith marriages are not extraordinary but definitely on the higher side,” said a senior NIA official.

Akhila’s parents had moved the Kerala High Court in 2016 alleging that she was radicalised forced to convert to Islam and forcibly married to a Muslim man. The High Court annulled the marriage and Akhila’s husband Shafin Jahan moved the Supreme Court, which asked the NIA to investigate the ‘love jihad’ case.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2020 11:18:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/nia-submits-status-report-on-kerala-conversions/article19954530.ece

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