There has been further confirmation of how forced religious conversions are linked to terrorism. The Kerala police have arrested two persons Fayaz and Siyad on charges of helping a Muslim man convert a woman and attempting to take her Syria and sold off to the Islamic State.
The prime accused in the case, Muhammad Riyaz (26) is still absconding. He is said to have forced the 25-year-old woman to convert to Islam, coerced her into a sexual relationship and marriage. He then tried to move her to Syria, investigations have shown.
The woman, a native of Pathanamthitta who grew up in Gujarat, had filed a petition seeking the annulment of the marriage in the Kerala High Court in November 2017.
Police sources said that the two arrested accused were part of the conspiracy. They had helped Riyaz in keeping the woman captive in a house in Manjali near Paravur for around six months.
They have been charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act," Ernakulam Rural SP A V George said, adding a hunt is on to arrest eight more accused, including Riyas, in the case.
He said the police have begun a probe into their alleged link with the Islamic State terrorists.
George said both Fayaz and Siyad were arrested based on the woman's complaint that she was allegedly tortured by them in a house in North Paravoor before Riyaz took her abroad.
The victim alleged that she met Riyaz a native of Thalassery in Bengaluru when she attended college in 2014. She said that Riyaz pretended to be in love with her and forcibly converted her to Islam. Riyaz is then alleged to have recorded videos of their sexual acts, which he used to blackmail her.
Their marriage was certified at the Hebbal sub-registrar office in Bengaluru, on May 21, 2016, using forged documents. The police are now ascertaining claims by the lady that the witnesses to the marriage were members of the Popular Front of India.
Further, the lady alleged that she was forced to attend a training programme at a Madrasa in Bengaluru. She also said that she got to know that Riyaz was planning on selling her off as a sex slave in Syria. She also said that Riyaz had received money from unidentified sources following her conversion. The victim further said that as part of the plan, she was first taken to Jeddah in August 2017. She, however, managed to escape, she further alleged.