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‘No case of love jihad in Kerala’: Centre tells Parliament

 

There is no case of “love jihad” in Kerala, the Centre said in Parliament on Tuesday in response to a question about whether the government was aware of the observation of Kerala High Court on the issue.

The Union ministry of home affairs made the remarks in a written reply to a question by Congress leader from Kerala, Benny Behanan, whether any of the central agencies have reported any case of love jihad from the southern state during the last two years.

“The term ‘Love Jihad’ is not defined under the extant laws. No such case of ‘Love Jihad’ has been reported by any of the central agencies,” junior home minister G Kishan Reddy said in the reply.

“However, two cases from Kerala involving inter-faith marriages have been investigated by the National Investigation Agency (NIA),” Reddy said.

“Article 25 of the Constitution provides for the freedom to profess, practice and propagate religion subject to public order, morality and health. Various courts have upheld this view including the Kerala High Court,” he said.

‘Love jihad’ is a term popularised by radical Hindu groups to describe what they believe is an organised conspiracy of Muslim men to force or trick Hindu women into conversion and marriage. The purported motives include expanding India’s Muslim population and aiding the Islamic State.

Kerala’s largest Christian denomination, the Syro-Malabar Church, had recently said girls from the community are being targeted and killed after being forced into marriages and blamed the police for not taking effective measures to curb the menace.

It had expressed concerns over the issue and exhorted believers to be alert. It also said such practices were posing a serious threat to Kerala’s secular as it cited examples to prop its claim.

The claims were later questioned within the church.