No ‘love jihad’ cases have been reported from Kerala, the Union Home Ministry told Parliament on Tuesday (February 4) in response to questions about whether the Centre is aware of the observation made by the Kerala High Court regarding the issue.
Union Minister of State for Home G. Kishan Reddy said the term ‘love jihad had not been defined under the extant laws.
“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,” Reddy said.
The minister pointed out that two cases from Kerala involving inter-faith marriages had been investigated by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), in response to a question by Benny Behanan, an MP from Kerala.
The Ministry’s reaction comes days after a Catholic Church in Kerala claimed that Christian girls had been targeted and killed in the name of ‘love jihad’ in the state.
The phrase ‘Love Jihad’ was coined by Right-wing Hindu groups to define Muslim youths ‘tricking’ Hindu women to marry them and forcing them to convert to Islam.
The Syro-Malabar Media Commission had noted that it was a matter of concern that ‘Love Jihad’ was on the rise in Kerala and was posing a threat to the secular fabric and peace in Kerala.
However, Kerala Finance Minster Thomas Isaac said the allegations of the Church had no factual basis.
As reported by The Hindu, the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) has asked the state police to file a detailed report on the allegation.
(With inputs from agencies)