What is the Kerala Love Jihad case about
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court directed the National Investigation Agency to probe an alleged case of Love Jihad in Kerala. The court said that the case will be probed under the supervision of retired Supreme Court judge, R V Raveendran.
The bench's order came after Kerala-based 27 years old Muslim man Shafin Jahan challenged the annulment of his marriage to Akhila alias Hadiya by the Kerala High Court on May 24.
What is the Kerala Love Jihad case about:
Hadiya, 24 who was staying with her friends at Malappuram in Kerala married Shafin Jahan on December 19 2016. Both were introduced to each other through a Muslim matrimonial website in August 2016. Two days after their wedding, Hadiya was asked to appear before the court in a habeas corpus petition filed by her parents. Her parents approached the High Court alleging forceful conversion.
Before court Hadiya said that she had converted to Islam out of her own will. The father of the girl K M Ashokan, an ex-serviceman, however alleged that there was a "well-oiled systematic mechanism" for conversion and and that the marriage was an attempt to make her a part of the Islamic state.
The Kerala High Court, while taking cognisance of the case sent her to a hostel in Kochi.
Jahan, who had been working in Muscat had to quit his job to take part in the proceedings. "My company told me to return to the Gulf only after settling the matter," he said.
During the investigation, the police found no evidence that could link Jahan with any criminal activity. The report however, mentioned that Jahan had been the admin of a WhatsApp group called 'SPDI Keralam'.
He was also in another group called 'Thanal.' Mansy Buraqui, who was arrested in connection with the Islamic state module, was also a member of the two mentioned groups. In his defence, Jahan said that Buraqui was removed from the groups soon after his support for the Islamic State was revealed. He also said that he had no other connection with Buraqui except being connected with him on the groups.
The Kerala High Court declared the marriage null and void. It said, "marriage being the most important decision in her life can only be taken with the active involvement of her parents...The marriage, which is alleged to have taken place, is a sham and is of no consequence in the eye of law. Her husband has no authority to act as the guardian."
The custody of the lady was then handed over to the father and the court directed the Kottayam district police superintendent to provide them protection. Hadiya however in a letter released to the media said, "I am a 25-year-old Indian citizen. Why the court put me under house arrest for the last five months? Why the court denied me the right to live as per my faith and likes?''
Jahan then moved the Supreme Court which in turn directed the state police to share details about the investigation report with the NIA. The NIA's involvement is necessary to ascertain if this is really an isolated case or is there something more... something wider...," the bench said.