The debate on Kerala’s Love Jihad problem is far from over. A senior Catholic Church priest in Kerala, Fr Varghese Vallikkatt, has now stated that young women from South India are being used as sex slaves in war-torn nations of Syria and Afghanistan.
Vallikkatt, the current spokesperson of Kerala Catholic Bishops Council (KCBC), has also slammed the State and Union Government for turning a blind eye to the issue, and not conducting a proper probe into the case of “missing women and children”.
In a video on Sunday, the priest alleged that the government’s inaction reflected a “silent sanction.” According to Vallikkatt, investigations have failed to nab the real culprits. He also blamed the government for not maintaining data on Love Jihad and dismissing such incidents as “isolated”. Vallikkatt said that the Church was under pressure from its followers for not doing anything about it.
Vallikkatt’s remarks have come days after the Kerala state government had dismissed the claims made by the Synod of the Syro-Malabar Church earlier this month.
Recently, the Syro-Malabar Church had stated that Love Jihad is a reality and that Christian girls are being entrapped by radical elements for Islamist terror outfits.
This induced a sharp reaction from Kerala’s Finance Minister Thomas Isaac who claimed that Love Jihad has “no factual basis.” He, however, assured to look into specific cases (if any) but also stated that the claims regarding love Jihad were gross generalization.
Syro-Malabar Church’s stand found support from the Vishwa Hindu Parishad
(VHP) which advocated a “united fight” against Love Jihad. The Popular Front of India, a radical Islamic outfit, had asked the Church to withdraw its statement as it would create divisions in the society at a time when a large number of people were standing up to so-called “Hindutva fascism.”
It is notable here that the NIA is also investigating cases of radical Islamism in Kerala where Islamists are recruiting terrorists for the ISIS. Kerala has the dubious distinction of being the Indian state with most numbers of jihadis fighting for ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Several cases of Love Jihad are also included in the probe.