A senior NIA official told NDTV that the agency was examining the 90 cases of inter-religion marriage received from Kerala Police over the last few days.
The government had earlier said that it had no problem with the NIA probe. The attack was described as retaliation for a "blasphemous" question he had put to his students in a college. Both also specified that they were not coerced.
But a NIA officer says it will need to go beyond establishing a link between people connected to the PFI after converting the partner to Islam and the inter-faith marriages. "The conversion can not take place through luring". Speaking to India Today, a senior officer of the NIA said, "We have spoken to both Athiras who have said they were lured".
The three include Athira alias Ayesha from Kasargod and Athira from Palakad.
Both women named Athira, with different surnames recently appeared before the NIA office in Kochi and recorded their statements wherein they said they were induced into converting their faith from Hinduism to Islam. She also has given a statement that she was influenced by Zakir Naik videos on Islam and observing her Muslim friends. In both these cases NIA suspects the role of Popular Front of India (PFI) and Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI).
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Police told The Associated Press that she suffers from a developmental disability and has difficulty communicating. The Mathews are reportedly no longer cooperating with police and have retained an attorney.
While Hadiya's case may have propelled other cases of alleged "Love Jihad", NIA's own investigation revealed that conversion of four non-Muslims took place in 2014 who later joined a group of 20 traveling to Afghanistan to join ISIS. "In May, the Kerala High Court" t had annulled the marriage, acting on a petition filed by her father, who claimed that Muslim organisations planned to take her overseas to get her to join the Islamic State group.
Hadiya, formerly Akhila Ashokan, converted to Islam and married Shafin Jahan in 2016.
Her father moved the Kerala High Court and claimed his daughter was indoctrinated and forcibly converted. The NIA is likely to await directions from the court as the case involves conversion for the goal of terror.
"Yogi Adityanath spoke of "love jihad" in Kerala... this court should know the ground ground realities", Dave had said, adding that Shah had also visited Kerala.