Similar appeals by the minorities as well as the scheduled castes commission show the problem of ‘love jihad’ and Islamists’ preying of non-Muslim girls is in no way merely a conspiracy theory by right-wing activists.
On 23 September, the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) vice-chairman George Kurian wrote a letter to Union Home Minister Amit Shah stating that Christian girls in Kerala are increasingly becoming the target of “organised religious conversion and using the victims for terror activities by trapping them through ‘love jihad’”.
Kurian requested Shah for intervention of National Investigation Agency (NIA).
“The issue is serious as it could lead to communal disharmony in the state. It was found that in most cases the victims were brainwashed and in some cases they were used as courier for terror activities. Many a time the victims’ families refuse to come out and report the issue fearing threat from the organised religious conversion terror activities.
“It is important that the Union Home Ministry takes note of this alarming trend and order a probe by National Investigating Agency and bring in an effective law to curb such fraudulent activities of radicalised elements.”
Few know that months before the minority commission, the National Scheduled Castes Commission (NCSC) also made a similar request to the Home Ministry.
On 4 September 2018, the NCSC called a meeting of top officers of the Delhi Police in relation to abduction and rape of a minor Dalit girl from Delhi’s Sultanpuri area.
The 14-year-old girl was kidnapped by her 32-year-old neighbour Saddam Ansari on 13 August 2018, and had not been recovered yet. Eyewitnesses – including the girl’s two sisters – told the family that they saw Ansari taking her away from school, telling the sisters that he would drop her home later.
As recorded in the minutes of the meeting (a copy of which is with Swarajya), the NCSC vice-chairman L Murugan stated that it expects the Home Ministry, under which the Delhi Police functions, to get the NIA involved in cases of abduction of minor girls.
Murugan said it has been observed that minor girls have been found to be trafficked to other countries in the past, to be used in human smuggling and sold to terror organisations. He said that in cases similar to the Sultanpuri one, alert must be sent out at borders with Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
It also asked the ministry to ensure that the SC/ST Act is invoked in all cases of kidnappings of Dalit girls and POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) in all cases of minor girls.
Specifically in the Sultanpuri case, the commission asked the Delhi Police to retrieve bank details of accused Saddam Ansari, his family members and even relatives to see if there was any major transaction in the days prior to the kidnapping.
Further, the commission asked the police to raid the madrassa where one of the accused's sisters studied and to question the maulvi. The commission noted that the case looks pre-planned as even the accused's sisters had gone missing the same day as the girl and were found in Uttar Pradesh’s Bijnor district by the police.
Incidentally, the girl was recovered the very next day on 5 September. (The case were reported in detail by this correspondent here.)
Probe found that she had been raped, and paperwork for her conversion and subsequent nikah had been initiated. The girl’s mother told this correspondent that the accused had tried to scratch out a tattoo of ‘Om’ from the skin of the girl’s arm.
Similar appeals by the minorities as well as the schedules castes commission show the problem of ‘love jihad’ and Islamists’ preying of non-Muslim girls is not just a conspiracy theory by right-wing activists.