No outfit named ‘Love Jehad’: DGP

via PNS | Kochi published on October 22, 2009

Even as various community organizations in Kerala were preparing to launch campaigns against an alleged Islamist programme to convert girls of other religions into Islam through campus-based love affairs, Jacob Punnoose, Director General of Police, Kerala, informed the High Court on Thursday that no outfit named Love Jehad or Romeo Jehad was operating in the State.

In a report submitted to the High Court on its September 30 order to hold a probe into the reports about Love Jehad, an Islamist group specializing in forced conversion of girls into Islam through love affairs, the DGP said that the police had not so far received any particular complaints about any outfit named Love Jehad or Romeo Jehad, but the police had taken necessary measures on the basis of certain reports that had appeared in the media.

The court had asked the DGP to submit a report in three weeks. The DGP, who said there had been no evidence to prove the existence of an organized programme to convert girls into Islam, added that the police had been conducting an intense probe into the matter. He said the services of the Intelligence wing of the police would also be used for the probe, based on the available information.

However, Punnoose, in his report to the court, said that there had been certain unconfirmed reports about some young Muslim men forcing girls to embrace Islam after trapping them in love relation. He said such young men could have been getting money from abroad and such funds could have been used for arranging vehicles, buying dress and other articles to attract girls and also for getting legal help.

The report of the Kerala DGP had come just one day after the Karnataka High Court directed the Government there and Kerala Police to jointly investigate the Love Jehad movement. A Division Bench of the Karnataka court issued the direction on Wednesday on a habeas corpus petition filed by the parents of a missing girl.

The court had taken into account the “alarming statistics” of missing girls in Karnataka in the last six years furnished by Additional Advocate General KM Nataraj. It wanted the serious ramifications of the practice, allegedly conceived by a section of Muslims in Kerala, to be probed and a report submitted to it on November 13.

The Kerala High Court had on September 30 issued instructions to the Union Home Department to find out whether the operations of Love Jehad had extended to other parts of the country. The order to probe the activities and links of the organization was issued by the court while it was taking up the anticipatory bail pleas of two activists of Campus Front, the students’ wing of NDF, who had forced two girls to convert into Islam in the name of marriage.

The girls, students at St Johns College, Pathanamthitta, had claimed that the duo had tried to convert them into Islam after kidnapping them. According to an earlier police report, as many as 940 girls had gone missing in Kerala in the past five years.

Information about the planned conversion campaign had come out in the open after the two girls were produced in the High Court in Aujgust on a habeas corpus petition. The girls told the court that they had been taken to a place in Kozhikode, where a group led by the Campus Front activists forced them to convert into Islam and sign marriage contracts.

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