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Published On: Sat, Oct 7th, 2017

Kerala Govt Questions NIA Probe Into ‘Love Jihad’ Case

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kerala-love-jihadNEW DELHI : In a new twist to what has now come to be known as the ‘Kerala Love-Jihad’ case, the Pinarayi Vijayan government in Kerala rejected the claims made by the Centre’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the Supreme Court that the Hadiya case, involving the alleged conversion of a Hindu woman to Islam and her marriage to a Muslim man, is part of a “pattern” of religious conversions and radicalisation happening in the southern State.

In fact, the CPI(M) government said the Kerala Police was doing an “efficient” job investigating the Hadiya case until the Supreme Court intervened and, believing the NIA’s claims, transferred the investigation to the central agency. In an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court, the Kerala government said the investigation conducted by the State Police had not revealed any offences which warranted an NIA probe.
“The investigation conducted so far by the Kerala Police has not revealed any incident relating to the commission of any scheduled offences to make a report to the Central Government under Section 6 of the National Investigation Agency Act, 2008,” the affidavit filed by Subrata Biswas, the State’s Additional Chief Secretary, Home Department, said under oath to the Supreme Court.

Submitting its affidavit in the Supreme Court, the state home department has pointed out that during the two-month long “thorough” investigation by the Kerala Police, no such incriminating material was found that called for an intervention by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

“The investigation conducted so far by the Kerala police has not revealed any incident relating to commission of any scheduled offences to make a report to the the Central government under Section 6 of the NIA Act,” stated the affidavit. The affidavit contended that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Kerala Police has conducted “detailed investigation” into conversion of the 24-year-old Hindu woman and her subsequent marriage to a Muslim man. It added that the “Kerala Police is competent to conduct investigation in such crimes” and it would have reported to the Central government in case of any incident requiring the involvement of NIA.
However, the department said, the investigation had to be handed over to the NIA by Kerala police in view of the SC order in August. Pursuant to an order by the high court in May, the Kerala Police has begun its investigation in June first week and was conducting it till the SC roped in NIA, which had told the top court that “there is a pattern to convert Hindu girls and get them married to Muslim men”.

The state government affidavit signifies the politics being played out between the Left government in Kerala and the BJP, which has been raising the issue of ‘Love-Jihad’ at every opportune moment. During a political rally earlier this week, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had also spoken out against this.
During a hearing on this case on Tuesday, the Supreme Court had observed that “prima facie”, the high court could not have nullified the marriage of a Hindu woman with a Muslim man after her conversion.
The court also remarked that a father cannot have control over a 25-year-old woman and that such a claim can’t be made in respect of a major.(With Agency Inputs ).

The case pertains to a 25-year-old woman from Kerala, who married Shafin Jahan after converting to Islam. The HC nullified the marriage and ordered the state police to investigate into such cases. The HC also handed over the custody of the adult woman to her father. Jahan challenged the annulment of his marriage in the Supreme Court and urged the Court to seek presence of the woman before it. The court will hear the case next on Monday.
“We will hear logical and legal arguments on two issues — can the HC nullify a marriage exercising jurisdiction under Article 226 and was an NIA probe necessary,” Chief Justice Misra had observed, posting the case for hearing on October 9

 

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