The spate of organised religious conversions and using the victims for terror activities by trapping them through ‘love jihad’ has shown that the Christian community is a soft target for Islamic radicals. The National Commission for Minorities is in receipt of complaints from two Christian families: in one incident that took place in Kerala’s Kozhikode, a Christian college student was allegedly raped after making her drink juice laced with sedatives and the act was filmed by the accused who mounted pressure on the victim to get her converted to Islam and when she refused an attempt was made to abduct her from the hostel she was putting up; in the second case, a Malayali Christian girl from Delhi was allegedly “abducted” to West Asian country by one Mohammad Siddiqui. In their complaint, her parents expressed the fear the girl “could have been misled/cheated/brainwashed/abducted and led astray with very nefarious designs like joining an outfit such as IS or being used as a slave”.
The fears expressed by the parents are not misplaced, given the experiences in the earlier similar cases. Reports suggest that out of the 21 persons who joined the Islamic State from Kerala, five were converted from Christianity. The Kerala Catholic Bishops Conference (KCBC)’s Commission for Social Harmony and Vigilance had launched a campaign against this “social evil”. In its publication Jagratha, the Commission stated: “It is shocking that around 4,000 girls have been subjected to religious conversion since 2005 (till 2012) after they fell in love”. It further said the victims “are sexually harassed or have to spend the rest of their life in a pathetic condition without any freedom”. An India Today report referring to the KCBC’s 2009 statement said that more than 2600 young Christian women were converted to Islam since 2006.
The issue is serious as it could lead to communal disharmony in the state. It was found that in most cases, the victims were brainwashed and in some cases they were used as courier for terror activities. Many a time the victims’ families refuse to come out and report the issue fearing threat from the organised conversion terror activities.
It is important that the Union Home Ministry takes note of this alarming trend and order a probe by the National Investigating Agency and bring in an effective law to curb such fraudulent activities of radicalised elements.