KOZHIKODE: The latest report by the state police on ‘Dawa Squad’ and ‘Love Jihad’ is in total divergence with the stand taken by it in December 2009 before the Kerala High Court. The then Director General of Police (DGP) Jacob Punnoose had submitted before the High Court “there was no conclusive evidence about the existence of ‘Love Jihad’, where young non-Muslim girls were allegedly trapped into marriage and converted to Islam.”
Sources said Punnose had made the statement based on conflicting reports submitted by police superintendents and other colleagues. “The probe conducted at that time was not conclusive and failed to look into certain facts. There might have been some political pressure or the junior officers played to the tune of the people with vested interests,” one of the police officers, who was part of the investigation in 2009, said.
Though Punnoose had submitted there was no evidence on `Love Jihad’, he had said in October 2009 there were reasons to suspect concerted efforts were made to persuade girls to convert after falling in love with Muslim boys.
After a gap of eight years, Kerala Police was forced to conduct a detailed reinvestigation into religious conversions in the state when five persons, including three girls converted to Islam from Christian and Hindu and left for Syria to join IS.
It is learnt the recent Hadiya case too prompted the Kerala Police to conduct an in-depth probe into the religious conversions. The Kerala High Court on May 25 declared null and void the marriage of 24-year-old Akhila, who became Hadiya after getting converted, with Shafeen Jahan in December 2016. The court also ordered she be placed in her parents’ custody. When Jahan moved the Supreme Court against the High Court order, the apex court ordered the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to probe the case. Following the apex court verdict, the NIA registered an FIR and launched a probe.
Nimisha, Merlin, Sonia, Issa and Yahiya
Nimisha alias Fathima hailed from a Hindu family in Thiruvananthapuram got converted to Islam while studying at a dental college in Kasaragod district in November 2015.
Merlin alias Mariyam from Kochi, a Christian got converted while working in Mumbai in 2015. Both Nimisha and Merlin married two brothers, Issa and Yahiya, from Palakkad who converted from Christianity.
Sonia alias Ayisha, an engineering graduate who got converted from Christianity, married Abdul Rasheed, an engineer, and left for Syria along with her husband and two-year-old daughter Sara.