World

India’s Supreme Court hears case on ‘Love Jihad’ campaign

NEW DELHI/KOCHI: India's Supreme Court began hearing a case yesterday that prosecutors say shows how Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) sympathisers are using "Love Jihad", marrying Hindu women and converting them to Islam, to win recruits and spread their message.

Over the past 28 months, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has picked up dozens of interfaith couples in Kerala to question them about their marriages. The women - all Hindus who married Muslim men - were asked "extremely personal" questions, two police officers from the agency said.

They were looking for cases of Love Jihad, a term publicised by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and other hardline Hindu groups.

Police investigations then found no evidence of any organised strategy, and the claim was widely ridiculed.

But since then, the NIA began focusing on Kerala, a southern state with strong economic links to the Middle East. It investigated 89 cases of Love Jihad and found nine to be alliances planned by people linked to ISIS, sources said.

Opposition parties say the investigation shows the government is allowing the RSS and others to use the state apparatus to further an agenda of establishing Hindu dominance in India, where 13 per cent of people are Muslim. - REUTERS

COURT & CRIME