The National Investigation Agency has reportedly concluded its investigation into inter-faith marriages in Kerala stating that there was no evidence of any coercion involved in any of the cases that it probed.
The agency had probed at least 11 instances of inter-faith marriage, which is dubbed as love jihad as Hindutva fanatics, but did not find a single case, where girls or boys may have been forcibly converted through a criminal design.
“The NIA is not supposed to file any further report in this regard in the Supreme Court. As far as the NIA is concerned, the matter stands closed as the agency has not found any evidence to suggest that in any of these cases either the man or the woman was coerced to convert,” Hindustan Times quoted an NIA source as saying.
The Supreme Court in August last year had directed an NIA probe under the supervision of a retired apex court judge into issues raised by a Muslim man whose marriage was annulled by the Kerala High Court that described the case as an instance of ‘love jihad’.
The top court had said that it was entrusting the task to the National Investigation Agency as a neutral agency to get a “whole picture” and ascertain whether the particular instance was limited to a “small pocket” or was there “something wider” to the issue.
This was after the Kerala High Court had declared the marriage of Hadiya and Sahfin Jahan null on the suspicion of this being a case of infamous love jihad. In March this year, the top court had restored their marriage while also slamming the high court for exceeding its brief.
A bench of then Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud had said that Hadiya was free to live with her husband adding that the High Court should not have intervened under article 226 of the Constitution of India.
The court, however, had made it clear that the NIA could continue to probe the allegations of criminality related to the so-called incidents of love jihad.
Hadiya had converted to Islam before marrying Shafin Jahan in Kerala. Her parents had made stunning allegations that their daughter was indoctrinated to leave her Hindu religion to join the ISIS. A charge that the 24-year-old Hadiya has rubbished on multiple occasions.
Hadiya had made a personal appearance in the apex court in November last year, when she reiterated that she had converted to Islam out of her own choice and she wished to be united with her husband.
Hindutva fanatic groups including the BJP has often targeted couples where the girls have converted to Islam after getting married to their Muslim lovers. These groups have often the term love jihad to polarise one community against the other in a bid to extract electoral mileage.