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Converted to Islam and sold: How radicals are trapping gullible women in Kerala

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New Delhi, Mar 26: Writer-director Sudipto Sen said recently that nearly 32,000 girls from Kerala and Mangaluru from Hindu and Christian families have been converted to Islam. Many of them have been trafficked to the Islamic State and other Islamic war zones in the past 10 years. Most of them end up in Syria, Afghanistan or such countries he added.

Converted to Islam and sold: Why the plight of many Kerala girls is comparable to the Yazidis

Last week, it was announced that movie called The Kerala Story by Vipul Amrutlal Shah and Sudipto Sen is in the making and will be released soon.

The issue had been brought to light by the National Commission for Women Chairperson, Rekha Sharma in 2017 when she said that the situation is Kerala is alarming as it is not just religious conversion but also organised human trafficking that is taking place. I have asked the DGP of the state to look into the role of some organisations, their source of funding as these are playing a big role in forceful conversions, she also said.

It is a terrible problem and has been going on for long an official tells OneIndia. At an adult held in Pathanamthitta in 2019, a 26 year girl narrated her story on how she was faced to join the Islamic State. She said when she refused, she was tortured.

In 2018, the National Investigation Agency had arrested one Muhammad Riyaz on the ground that he was forcibly trying to covert his wife. It was also alleged that he was planning to sell her off as a sex slave.

The plight of many girls in Kerala who have been subject to conversions and then trying to be sold off as sex slaves is quite similar to what the Yazidi women faced at the hands of the Islamic State.

Laila Khoudeida, secretary of the Yazidi Organisation who also works to provide mental and behavioural health services to the distraught Yazidis in an exclusive conversation with OneIndia had said scores of Yazidis had been killed by the ISIS. The ISIS termed the Yazidis as Devil worshippers and many women had been taken as sex slaves. The issue of the women has to also be treated as a special and unique case that requires immediate medical attention. A comprehensive psychological evaluation is important to be completed on each female victim of sexual violence and rape so as to prevent the risk of suicide attempts, she had said.

Last July, the Assam police revealed a larger plot when it learnt that several girls from the state were being trafficked to Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala. The police while naming Muzzaful Haque and Rakbul Hussain as the main accused also managed to rescue several victims from a lodge in Kerala.

In an 8,000 page chargesheet filed by the NIA against Areeb Majeed who returned from the crutches of the ISIS, the agency while quoting him said, Indians are treated as sex slaves.

As Sen pointed out even Christian girls in Kerala have been subject to the same torture. In 2012, the Global Council of Indian Christians had warned Christians about this growing problem. The Commission for Social Harmony and Vigilance of the Kerala Catholic Bishops Council reported that there had been been around 2,868 victims of forcible conversion in Kerala between 2006 and 2009.

The National Commission for Minorities had written to the Union Government stating that Christians were soft targets for Islamic radicals in Kerala.

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