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Govt not considering legislation against forced conversion: Kerala Law Minister

By TwoCircles.net Staff Correspondent,

Kochi: The Kerala state government was not considering legislation against forced religious conversions said the state Law Minister M Vijayakumar. He explained that the government would consider all the related factors when the matter came to its consideration. He was talking to the mediapersons in Malappuram.

The statement of the Law Minister has come in the wake of the recent suggestion by the Kerala High Court that the government should consider legislation preventing forced conversions. The HC made the suggestion on Wednesday while dismissing the bail applications of two boys accused of forcefully converting two girls to Islam. The case was that the boys had forced two girls studying for MBA into conversion feigning love. Initially the boys applied for anticipatory bail and then tried to cancel it accusing that they did not expect justice from the court. The court saw the request as a clear matter of contempt of court but said it was not taking any measures.

Justice KT Shankaran reportedly observed that religious conversions were taking place in the state, even though 14 out of the police reports submitted at the court said the other way. The observation said that about 4000 persons had converted to other religions through love-marriages in the state in the last four years, 2800 of them being girls. 1600 religoius conversions had taken place in Kasargode, Kannur, Kozhikode and Malappuram districts (Malabar) by way of love-marriages. The report of the Special Branch said that the girls of elite Hindu and Christian families were persuaded to convert. Religious conversions with the help of Muslim organisations began in the state in 1996. Some organisations in the Saudi Arabia finance the religious conversions in the name of scholarships.

Many important persons in the social, cultural, religious and political fields have expressed their discontent at the court’s suggestion. Dr MS Jayaprakash, historian and human rights activist, reportedly opined that the court’s observations were against secular values and did not conform to the dignity of the Constitution. Famous thinker and writer Ram Puniyani opined that the judgement would lead to communal divide. He added that when courts too joined such fake propaganda, it would lead to communal tensions.

Adv A Pookunhu, president of the Kerala Muslim Jamat Federation, said that the state government should appeal against the observations made by Js KT Shankaran ignoring the reports of the Kerala and Karnataka DGPs. The Kerala Muslim Yuvajana Federation has decided to complain to the President against the observations made by Js KT Shankaran. KS Shan, state president of the Campus Front, opined that the judgement that religious conversions through love in the name of ‘Love jihad’ and ‘Romeo Jihad’ were taking place in Kerala is an insult to the secular society. The judge has treated the matter which may have serious consequences in the religious and cultural spheres in a trivial manner.