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No need for NIA probe in ‘love jihad’ case, Kerala govt tells SC

The Kerala government told the top court that the state police are effectively investigating the case pertaining to the alleged forced conversion and marriage of a Hindu woman.

Just days after the Supreme Court questioned the legality of NIA probe in the Hadiya ‘love jihad’ case, the Kerala government on Saturday told it that the investigation by the state police has not revealed any offences that warranted a probe by the federal anti- terror agency.

“The investigation conducted so far by the Kerala Police has not revealed any incident relating to the commission of any scheduled offences to make a report to the Central Government under section 6 of the National Investigation Agency Act, 2008,” the affidavit by the Kerala’s additional chief secretary, home department, said.

The case pertains to the alleged forced conversion to Islam of Akhila Ashokan, alias Hadiya, and her marriage to Shefin Jahan.

The case grabbed nationwide attention after the Kerala high court annulled the marriage in May on a petition by Hadiya’s father, Ashokan, who claimed that she was forcibly converted and would be sent to war-torn Syria like the 21 missing persons from the state believed to have joined the militant organisation Islamic State.

‘love jihad’ case, Kerala
Akhila Ashokan (right), a homeopathy doctor, converted to Islam and took a name Hadiya and married a Muslim youth Shefin Jahan. (HT Photo )

In August the SC refused to stay the HC order and asked the NIA to probe the circumstances that led to their marriage.

However, on Tuesday, the Supreme Court bench headed by the new chief justice Deepak Misra made a virtual U-turn questioning the legality of the NIA probe. The bench also questioned the legality of girl’s father keeping her in his custody for last four months.

Now, the Kerala government claims that the “state police had done a detailed investigation into the incident surrounding the conversion of Akhila @ Hadiya to Islam and also the antecedents of Shafi Jahan”.

The affidavit adds that the Kerala police “would have reported to central government if any scheduled offences found to have been committed during such investigation as per the NIA act”.

Two weeks ago Shefin Jahan had filed a fresh plea questioning the NIA probe. Similarly the State Women Commission also moved the apex court seeking its permission to meet Hadiya.

The case will come up for hearing at the SC again on Monday.

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