Balbir K Punj
The allegation that Muslim men entice Hindu women into marriage for reasons other than love and as part of an Islamist conspiracy is usually dismissed as insidious Sangh Parivar communal propaganda. But a recent chance investigation by Kerala Police has brought out some ugly details.
The August 31 issue of Kerala’s foremost newspaper, Malayala Manorama, carried an extensive report on how a Pakistan-based terrorist organisation is planning, abetting and financing the enticement of college students from different communities in the State to become cannon fodder for its jihad in India. The report terms such young women as ‘love bombs’.
The modus operandi is very clever. Muslim youth in Kerala are employed by the terrorists to entice these young women. Handsome and dashing young men are selected and fully financed to have cars, motorbikes, the most expensive clothes and lots of cash. Their job is to move in groups, select their prey and then get the women to elope with them on the promise of marriage and a great life abroad.
After days of romancing, the women begin to believe that they have found their ‘Prince Charming’. Once they elope, a marriage is registered before a notary and then the woman is whisked away from place to place. The victim thinks that she has to undergo this to evade her parents who would be searching for her.
Hide-outs include places like Hyderabad that have a significant Muslim population. The victim is not allowed contact with any outsider and is subjected to propaganda videos that eulogise jihad and promise the ultimate victory of Islam. Though the racket has been going on for some years and several complaints of missing girls have been lodged with Kerala Police, the latter has ignored them, saying that the women had actually eloped out of their free will and, therefore, they could not do anything.
The racket came to light when one of the victims turned out to be the daughter of a ranking police officer and another somehow managed to send word to her parents about the reality of her situation. The parents in the second case approached the High Court with a habeas corpus petition that led the court to order the police to produce the victim before it. The plea that the woman had eloped on her own and that she was now legally married did not convince the court and it ordered that she be allowed to stay with her parents for a week before it again examined the case. After a week, the woman told the court the truth.
The police have now discovered a kidnapping racket to provide recruits to Pakistani terror outfits through ‘Love Jihad’. Further investigations have revealed that all over India some 4,000 young women have been recruited in this manner to be trained against their will as terrorists and suicide bombers. In Kerala alone the police suspect that over 500 women have fallen victim to the ‘Love Jihad’ racket.
According to the Thiruvananthapuram victim who gave a statement before Justice R Basant of the Kerala High Court, Islamist gangs have been freely operating without the police or intelligence agencies getting even a whiff a their activities. The operation is extremely well organised with several households and ‘safe houses’ ready to accommodate the unsuspecting women and their so-called husbands.
If jihadi outfits in Pakistan have been able to abduct and train as many as 4,000 Indian women for terror operations over the last several years, it speaks very poorly of our intelligence apparatus. The prevailing political environment that treats the perpetrators of jihadi violence with kid gloves is equally to blame, if not more.
A report from Hyderabad in the Indian Express on August 28 said that Mujeeb Ahmed, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1994 for waging war against the state and shooting an Assistant Superintendent of Police, was released under a special remission scheme in 2004. He then went underground and, as subsequently established by the IB and CID, he became an active member of the Hizbul Mujahideen and the ISI, and was a member of the first terror cell in Andhra Pradesh.
It was Rajasthan Police’s discovery of rifles, detonators and explosive material in a truck in Ajmer that led to the arrest of Mujeeb once again. He was charged with procuring arms from Pakistan to launch terror attacks in Hyderabad. This jihadi has now been convicted for sedition and terrorism.
Despite the fact that Mujeeb went back to being a full-fledged terrorist after his release on compassionate grounds, the Andhra Pradesh Government is now planning to release some 984 life convicts, many of whom have been charged with similar crimes as Mujeeb’s. The Indian Express report quotes police officers who have revealed that the State Government neither consulted the IB nor the State police before the list of convicts to be released was prepared. Like Mujeeb, a person who was arrested a decade ago for trying to carry out terror attacks in this country will now easily go back to being an active jihadi once he is freed.
That the jihadi cancer is widespread and eating into the vitals of our country is now becoming evident day by day. The Union Government makes all the right noises in acknowledging this cancer. But when it comes to taking action, the Government backs out. We should all watch out for the Centre’s reaction to the revelation of the abduction of thousands of girls for terror-training. And, finally, where are all the women’s rights activists who had painted the country red following the sponsored attack on an obscure pub in Mangalore by the self-styled Sri Ram Sene?