No case of 'love jihad' has been reported from Kerala by any central agencies, the home ministry told Parliament on Tuesday. In fact, "the term 'love jihad' has not been defined under the extant laws", Minister of State in the home ministry G. Kishan Reddy informed in Parliament.
"However, two cases from Kerala involving inter-faith marriages have been investigated by the National Investigation Agency (NIA)," the minister said, in response to a query by Kerala MP Benny Behanan. "Article 25 of the Constitution provides for the freedom to profess, practice and propagate religion subject to public order, morality and health. Various courts have upheld this view, including the Kerala High Court," said Reddy said.
The response comes a fortnight after the Catholic Church in Kerala claimed that Christian girls are targeted and killed in the name of 'love jihad' in the state. "It is a matter of concern that 'love Jihad' is increasing in Kerala causing danger to the secular harmony and societal peace in Kerala," a report by Syro-Malabar Media Commission had noted.
However, Kerala Finance Minster Thomas Isaac said the allegations of the Church 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 had said.
Following the Church's remarks, the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) had asked the state police to file a detailed report on the allegation.