Kerala ‘love jihad’: NIA suspects same ‘mentor’ lured two girls

Following the Supreme Court order to probe the ‘love jihad’ case in Kerala, the preliminary probe by National Investigative Agency (NIA) has revealed a common link between two instances where Hindu girls were persuaded to embrace Islam. A common “mentor”, Sainaba, associated with the radical group Popular Front of India, “lured” Athira and Akhila into accepting Islam.

In the report, based on a probe by Kerala Police, NIA states common accused in both the cases:

Athira was supposedly lured by Akhila’s “mentor” Sainaba into embracing Islam with the help of activists linked to Islamic outfits PFI, SDPI and Markazul Hidaya ‘Sathyasarani’. Some of Sainaba’s associates figure in both cases.

NIA report further states another link between the two cases. One Mohammad Kutty, a PFI-SDPI activist who had approached Akhila’s friend’s father Aboobacker, along with Sainaba and Aliyar, allegedly took Akhila away from her family for pursuing Islamic studies. Kutty and Sainaba are co-conspirators in the Athira case and was arrested for illegally confining Athira.

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It is understood that the NIA has informed the SC that Akhila’s “conversion” and marriage were not isolated incidents but part of an organised effort by Kerala-based PFI, SDPI and Sathyasarani.

The report by Times of India further states:

As per the NIA report, Kozhikode-based Therbiyatul Islam Sabha (TIS), recognised by the Kerala government, had issued a “conversion certificate” to Akhila in 2016 stating she had successfully completed its Islamic course on July 25, 2016. However, it was found that she never studied at TIS, but only took the exam held after the course.

It was also revealed that persons involved in sheltering Akhila in January 2016 — Sainaba, Muhammad Basheer, Muhammed Kutty, Nasarudeen — are all connected with Sathyasarani and PFI-SDPI.

In May the Kerala High Court had declared the particular marriage between the girl and a man named Shafin Jahan null and void on the petition of her father Ashokan, who is a retired army-man. The girl now named Hadiya used to be a homeopathy student when she converted and changed her name. The girl was reportedly given away in marriage by her guardian named Sainaba and her husband.

The father had then alleged that she was forced to convert after being abducted and wrongly confined at an illegal Islamic conversion centre before her so called marriage on December 19th 2016. There were further alleged that the Sathya Sarani girls hostel, the illegal conversion centre in question and was run by the Popular Front of India, which was founded by the leaders of the terrorist organisation SIMI.

The Kerala High Court had then stated that the marriage was a sham and had no standing in front of the law. The court then had also granted the custody of the girl to her parents and directed the police to provide protection to the family.

The husband in question had then knocked on the doors of the Supreme Court to challenge the annulment of his marriage. He was represented by eminent lawyers named Kapil Sibal and Indira Jaising. According to Sibal, the girl had converted to Islam before she had met the boy via a matrimonial site. The lawyers also insisted the girl in question be brought in front of the court.

The Supreme Court had then sought the response of the NIA in the matter before scheduling the next hearing on 16th August. The Court had also directed the Kerala Police to hand over the files related to the case to the NIA.

It has been speculated via intelligence reports that there have been a total of 5793 conversions to Islam in Kerala between 2011 and 2015 out of which about 4719 were Hindus and rest were Christians. Incidentally the conversions were happening in two center named Tharbiyathul Islam Sabha in Kozhikode and Monunsthil Islam Sabha in Ponnani, both of which were reportedly ‘authorized’ by the state to carry out this activity.

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