The National Commission for Women has raised concerns over the growing number of forced conversions or Love Jihad cases in Kerala. Earlier this NCW chief, Rekha Sharma, likened the problem to a ticking time bomb and asked the Kerala government to take action on it.

Sharma went on to say that the fear was not only among the Hindus but among Christians as well. She said that women were being lured in Kerala and forcibly converted to Islam, and this was a serious concern.

Situation is extreme:

A report by the Intelligence Bureau seen by MyNation says that the problem in Kerala has become extreme. The forced conversion of Christian and Hindu girls to Islam has only gone up as the state does not seem to act on the issue.

The problem is two-fold in such cases, the report states. Firstly, these girls are tricked and converted to Islam. Secondly, in some cases, they are forced to join terror groups such as the Islamic State. There have been several instances in Kerala, where women have been converted to Islam and forced to join terror groups.

The sole intention is not only to recruit the girls into terror groups or sell them as sex slaves. This is a systematic pattern to ensure that the population of the Hindu and Christian girls drop drastically so that the number of those following Islam increases, the report also adds.

NCW raises concerns:

The NCW chief’s statement comes in the backdrop of several Hindu and Christian groups raising several concerns. Sharma says that the problem is a ticking time bomb. She said that the Kerala government must act on the issue.

She also goes on to say that there was fear not just among the Hindus, but among the Christians as well. There are groups that are luring Hindu and Christian girls and converting them to Islam forcibly, Sharma also said.

She also requested the Kerala government to look into it. It is not appropriate to isolate the issue just for the sake of vote bank. Hindu and Christian girls are being lured with money and undertaking forced conversions, Rekha Sharma also added.

Torture, money and stigma:

In case of tricked conversions or Love Jihad a systematic pattern has been witnessed. Girls are tricked by Muslim youth and then blackmailed. In some cases, they have been lured with expensive gifts and money. However, in most cases, it is the stigma and torture that has made girls convert to Islam.

Muhammad Riyaz was detained in 2018 on the charge that he had forcibly converted his wife to Islam. Further it was found that he was trying to sell her off as a sex slave. In this context it would be important to look at a 2009 dossier of the IB, which spoke about the Lashkar-e-Tayiba directing its men in Kerala and Mangaluru to identify women, build a rapport with them and convert them. The Lashkar directed its men to use methods such as deceit, money and torture to rope in as many Hindu girls and convert them.

Last August at an adalat in Pathanamthitta, a girl spoke about how she was forcibly converted and then tortured, before being made to join the Islamic State.

Worrying figures:

The Kerala Bishops Council as well as the 2012 Global Council of Indian Christians have put out numbers with regard to forced conversions. They say that there have been 2,868 female victims in Kerala between 2006 and 2009.

This number has increased largely in the case of both the Hindus and Christians. Sajjan George the president of the Global Council of Indian Christians had said that he was convinced that there was an effort in South India by some Muslim men to get Christian women to fall in love with them and convert them.

It has been found in several cases that the many Muslim youth have been paid huge sums of money to lure girls and convert them. They use various methods such as impressing them with expensive cars, bikes and gifts in a bid to lure them. The agencies say that the parents must be more forthcoming in such cases and report the matter to the police. Several parents are either threatened against going to the cops. In most cases however parents stay back owing to the social stigma and this is something that these Muslim youths take advantage of.