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B Upendran | HENB | Kochi | Oct 12, 2017:: Two women named Athira, with different surnames recently appeared before the NIA (National Investigation Agency) office in Kochi recently and recorded their statements wherein they said they were induced into converting their faith from Hinduism to Islam. These Hindu girls, Athira Nambiar (alias Salma alias Ayisha) from Palakkad and another Athira Kaniyambadi (alias Ayesha) from Bekal in Kasargod, asserted that they were “lured” to embrace Islam and enter into a relationship with Muslim partners to “marry”.
In their statements before the NIA, the women said that they were provided literature and audio-video materials relating to hard-line interpretations of the religion made by Dr Zakir Naik and subsequently brainwashed to embrace Islam. The women, however, said that they were not married as yet even after conversion to Islam.
The agency has sought a list from the Kerala Police of the converts who switched their faith since 2015 and subsequently entered into marriage with Muslims. The police has till so far furnished a list of 90 such conversions wherein ‘gullible’ girls were allegedly converted to Islam and in most of the cases there was a pattern that points towards inducements and psychological brainwashing by certain radical groups, sources said.
These confession of two Athira, added fresh ammunition to the ‘love jihad’ controversy as National Investigation Agency (NIA) accepted that they were induced and brainwashed to convert to Islam under certain ploy designed as ‘love jihad’.
It is more significant that, ‘radical’ Muslim outfit Popular Front of India and its political wing Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) have emerged as a common link in the “indoctrination” and “luring” of not only the two Athiras but also that case of Akhila Asokan alias Hadiya (name given after conversion), a senior NIA officer told HENB. Hadiya has insisted that she got married of her own free will.
While Akhila Asokan (Hadiya) and Athira Nambiar (Salma alias Ayisha), both from Palakkad, allegedly had common PFI/SDPI motivators including SDPI women’s wing chief Sainaba, the Bekal case investigation revealed the role of other activists working on the same lines. NIA sources indicated as many as 23 similar cases may have PFI links.
The home ministry, incidentally, is contemplating banning PFI under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. A series of meetings has been held to debate whether to ban it as an “unlawful association” or a “terrorist” outfit, the latest consultation being on Tuesday.
The NIA is yet to question Hadiya or other suspects in the case relating to her “indoctrination and forced conversion”. However, it has started examining 90 similar cases registered by Kerala Police since 2015. “The cases relate to forced conversions, inter-faith relationships and marriages, with complainants alleging a larger effort to ‘lure’ women to convert to Islam,” said an officer. However, he added it had not been established so far that the forced conversions were aimed at pushing the girls to take up terror activities.
Though NIA is probing on 90 Love Jihad cases as per report, the exact number of non-Muslim girls trapped by Love Jihad rackets are still unknown or difficult to be estimated.
Christian Help Line of Kochi, submitted that more than 1,500 Christian girls were converted to Islam through ‘love jihad’ till date. It was confirmed that more than five Christians were sent to Syria to join the IS, it said.
If, there is no exaggeration in this claim, the actual number of forced conversion and marriage must be more higher than that estimation of the Christian body.
On 25 June, 2012, Oommen Chandy, then chief minister of Kerala, tabled some numbers in the state Legislature:
– 7,713 people converted to Islam between 2006 and 2012.
– 2,195 Hindu women converted to Islam between 2009 and 2012.
– 492 Christian women converted to Islam during 2009-2012.
In the next five years from 2012, i.e. upto 2017, the numbers of victim non-Muslim girls and women have to be doubled now under higher proliferation of Radical Islam in the state.
At a point of time. the ruling Communist Govt in Kerala tried to undermine the huge consequences of Love Jihad and even they did not welcome the interference of NIA in the matter. But, now the Kerala state govt has also acknowledged the 90 Love Jihad cases under NIA scanner.
NIA officers say now that they are probing the role played by Sainaba, president of PFI’s women’s wing, the National Women’s Front, or NWF, in the Athira and Akhila cases. The agency, which was reported to have told the government to outlaw the PFI last month, says it suspects the PFI affiliates too were mentoring the girls through their frontal wing, Sathyasarani.
The vicious circle of Love Jihad is not confined in Kerala. The radical rackets of Love Jihad are also active in other Indian states. National Investigation Agencies (NIA), the top most investigation and anti-terror agency is probing only 90 Love Jihad Cases in Kerala, probably connected with extremism of Islamic States or other radical Jihad fronts.