Kerala High Court has slammed the right-wing groups campaigning against what they call love-jihad saying that “every case of inter-religious marriage shall not be portrayed on a religious canvas and create fissures in the communal harmony otherwise existing in God’s own country Kerala.”
While hearing a habeas corpus petition filed by Anees Hameed, a 25-year-old from Kannur, who had moved the high court seeking the release of his wife Sruthi Meledath from her family’s custody, the division bench of V Chitambaresh and Satish Ninan ruled that Sruthi be allowed to stay with Hameed.
The dismissed the petitions of the woman’s parents and a helpline run by a Christian group that wanted to implead itself in the case, reported Indian Express.
The bench observed, “We are appalled to notice the recent trend in the state to sensationalise every case of inter-religious marriage as either love jihad or ghar wapsi. Disturbing news is coming from several parts of the country that young men and women who undergo inter-caste marriages are threatened with violence or violence is actually committed on them.”
Sruthi had told the court that after the inter-faith marriage, her family had forcibly kept her at the Siva Sakthi Yoga Vidya Kendram near Kochi, which carries out reconversion of Hindu women who have embraced other religions.
Another Hindu woman, a doctor, had recently accused the same Yoga centre o holding her captive for 28 days and torturing her for converting to Islam.
The High Court directed the Kerala government to take every measure to shut down such reconversion centres and tale appropriate action against people running them.
“The police must take all measures to ensure that various centres which force people into conversions or re-conversions are exposed and shut down in Kerala,” said the court.
The High Court’s ruling comes at a time when the Supreme Court has taken a special interest in inter-faith marriages and even ordered the NIA to probe the allegations of Love Jihad. NIA is a national probe agency to deal with the cases of terrorism. Kerala is currently governed by CPI-M-led Left Demoratic Alliance.
The top court in August 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’.
A Bench headed by Justice Misra’s predecessor, Chief Justice JS Khehar, had said that the investigation into the matter would be supervised by the retired apex court judge RV Raveendran.
The issue had reached the apex court as Kerala-native Shafin Jahan challenged the annulment of his marriage by the Kerala High Court that ordered the state police to probe such cases.
Later, in a fresh twist in Kerala’s so-called Love Jihad controversy, the girl, who converted to Islam, had said that she wanted to die as a Muslim.