India's top counter-terror agency, the National Investigation Agency, on Friday started its first-of-a-kind probe into the marriage of a Hindu woman to a Muslim man in Kerala previous year to ascertain if it was a case of Muslim extremist groups radicalising a Hindu woman and recruiting them for terror groups.
"In compliance with the orders dated 16-8-17 of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in the SLP 5777 of 2017, the FIR No. 21/2016 under Section 57 of Kerala Police Act, 153-A, 295-A and 107 of IPC, of Perinthalmanna Police Station, District Mallapuram, Kerala has been re-registered as RC-01/2017/NIA/KOC today by the NIA and investigation taken up", NIA Inspector General and agency spokesperson Alok Mittal said in a statement.
This is the first time that the NIA, which was meant to probe terror offences, is investigating the circumstances of a marriage to determine if this was a case of "love jihad" - a term coined by Hindu right-wing groups to allege an Islamist strategy to convert Hindu women via first romance and then marriage.
The apex court directed NIA to probe the incident under the supervision of a retired apex court judge, Justice R V Raveendran.
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"This will not be an Special Investigation Team (SIT)".
The bench said it wanted the probe to be fair and the NIA, being an independent agency outside the state of Kerala, can conduct the probe in an impartial manner and have a different point of view.
Jahan, 27, moved the top court against the High Court order, contending the ruling was an "insult to the independence of women in India". It was alleged that the woman was recruited by Islamic State's mission in Syria and Jahan was only a stooge. Four people were arrested by the Kerala police in this case.
"There seems to be a pattern in the alleged conversions".
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