‘Not All Inter-Faith Marriages Can Be Called Love Jihad’: Kerala High Court

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In the backdrop of the controversy over "Love Jihad", the Kerala High Court has said all inter-faith marriages should not be seen through a religious prism.

All marriages cannot be portrayed as "love jihad" or "ghar wapsi", the court said, adding, "Every inter-faith marriage cannot be seen through the religious canvas."

The High Court's observation came during the hearing of a petition by a Muslim man, who alleged that his wife was taken to an Ernakulam-based re-conversion centre forcefully by her parents.

The re-conversion centre had been headlined after another woman, an Ayurveda doctor, filed a complaint saying her parents had kept her locked up there after she married a Christian man.
A two-judge bench of Justice V Chidambaresh and Justice Sateesh Ninan said, "The police must take all measures to ensure that various centres which force people into conversions or re-conversions are exposed and shut down in Kerala".

Referring to the recent controversy around allegations and petitions regarding forced conversions involving married couples, the court observed that there is a trend in the state to "sensationalise" every case as "love jihad". The term is used by a section of right-wing leaders to denote a romance between a Muslim man and a Hindu woman. They claim after the marriage, the women are often forced to join the ranks of terrorists.

Following a spate of cases in which Hindu women were allegedly being punished or forced into re-conversion by parents, the Supreme Court had asked the National Investigation Agency to check if there was any coercion involved in such marriages.

After examining 90 such marriages, the agency has told the court that it has it found an "emerging trend" in the conversions. A senior NIA official has told us that in 23 of these cases, the investigators hoped to be able to link the individuals concerned to the Popular Front of India, a radical Islamic outfit.

 

 

 

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