Probe ‘Love Jihad’ – Karnataka High Court

published on October 22, 2009

Love jihad’: HC asks DGP to probe

www.expressbuzz.com

BANGALORE: After taking note of alarming statistics regarding missing girls across the state, the High Court on Wednesday directed the Director General of Police (DGP) to conduct a thorough investigation into the existence of ‘love jihad’ movement with the assistance of Kerala police.
 
While hearing a habeas corpus petition filed by C Selvaraj, a resident of Chamarajanagar, a division bench comprising Justice K Shridhar Rao and Justice Ravi Malimath directed the DGP to conduct in-depth investigation into the matter and file a report to the court within three weeks.
 
Police should investigate the antecedents of Azkar, who had apparently detained the petitioner’s daughter in a madrassa in Kerala. The police investigation should also look into the aspects of ‘love jihad’ movement in Kerala, the court observed, while taking note of the Kerala High Court order on ‘love jihad’.
 
“We have serious suspicions regarding the statements of the petitioner’s daughter and the case has ramifications for national security. It has raised questions of unlawful trafficking of girls and women in the state. So it has to be investigated by the police,” the court observed.
 
The police should take the statements of Silja Raj, the daughter of the petitioner, about whether or not she was illegally detained in the madrassa.
 
The police should also record the statements of Azkar regarding the issue, the court ordered.
 
While taking note of statistics given by the government regarding missing girls since five years, the court observed that the state had to set up a special cell to trace the missing girls and women across the state.

 
Meanwhile, the court handed over the custody of Silja to her parents for a period of three weeks, after taking her consent. The court has asked her to stay with her parents till the police inquiry is over. The court has adjourned the hearing to November 13.
 
THE CASE
 
C Selvaraj has stated in the habeas corpus petition that his daughter Silja was kept in illegal custody in a madrassa in Kerala. Azkar had illegally detained his daughter and converted her to Islam.
 
However, the girl stated in the open court that no one forced her to convert to Islam. She had voluntarily stayed in a madrassa for 31 days and intended to marry Azkar under Special Marriage Act.
 
However, while arguing the matter, the petitioner’s counsel stated that the girl was trapped in ‘love jihad,’ an organisation allegedly converting many Hindu and Christian girls to Islam and keeping them in a madrassa to preach the Quran to them.
 
The Additional Advocate General submitted in the court that for five years now, many minor and major girls went missing. In 2009, 245 minor girls went missing. Of these 156 were traced. Also, 279 major girls went missing.Of them, only nine were traced.

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