After a prominent church faction in Kerala spoke out against what it termed 'love jihad' against Christian girls, the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) has asked the state police to file a detailed report on the allegation, The Hindu reported. The synod of Syro-Malabar Church, an apex body of Catholic Bishops, chaired by Cardinal George Alencherry, called "love jihad a reality" and also accused the state police of not viewing the matter cautiously and taking timely action in cases.
Kerala Finance Minster Thomas Isaac said that the allegations of the Bishops have "no factual basis." He said many such allegations had been levelled in the past, but government investigations had found no basis in it. "If there are concrete cases or allegations, they will definitely be looked into. But, the Kerala government does not believe that there is any basis for such generalisation," he told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram.
Denying the charges of the Church, the Popular Front of India (PFI), an Islamic outfit, questioned the "timing" of the statement and urged the Church to withdraw it immediately "as it would only help create division amid growing unity among various sections of society against "Hindutva fascism". The Viswa Hindu Parishad welcomed the Church statement and called for a united fight.
An official of the Kerala State Women's Commission refused to comment, considering the sensitivity involved in the matter. "There are circumstances in which Christian girls are killed in the name of Love Jihad in Kerala," the synod alleged in a statement issued through Syro-Malabar Media Commission here on Tuesday night, referring to the attacks against Christians across the world.
It termed as "shocking", the killing of Christians in Nigeria on Christmas day. The synod said it was a matter of concern that love jihad was gaining ground in Kerala, putting in danger its social peace and communal harmony. "It is a reality that 'Love Jihad' is happening in Kerala in a planned manner, targeting Christian girls," it said. The synod, referring to a police record, said out of 21 people recruited from Kerala into Islamic State terror outfit, half of them were converted from Christian faith and it should be an eye opener for the community. Noting that unofficial accounts say many girls were being used in terror activities through love jihad, the synod said it was a serious matter and such accounts state that love jihad was not only "in the imagination".
The synod, however, urged the government to treat it as one related to law and order and not as a religious matter.
-Inputs from PTI