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Kerala High Court Allows Sruthi Meledath to go With Her Muslim Husband, Says Don’t Look at All Love Marriages as ‘Love Jihad’ Case

Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 19: Kerala High Court on Thursday said all love marriages between Hindu women and Muslim men should not be seen as the case of ‘Love Jihad’ while allowing Sruthi Meledath to go with her husband Anees Hameed, reported news agency ANI. The Kerala High Court upheld the inter-faith marriage of Sruthi Meledath and Anees Hameed and said it was not a case of ‘Love Jihad’, a term coined by right-wing groups to allege an Islamist strategy to convert Hindu women via first romance and then marriage.

The Kerala High Court was hearing a habeas corpus petition filed by Anees Hameed seeking an order that his wife Sruthi Meledath be released from her family’s custody. The court observed that Sruthi’s marriage was not ‘Love Jihad’ and allowed her to go with her husband. The court further said that such inter-religion marriages should be encouraged.

Sruthi’s marriage was not ‘Love Jihad’ observed Kerala High Court allowing her to go with her husband Anees Hameed

— ANI (@ANI) 19 October 2017

“All love marriages should not be termed as ‘Love-Jihad’,” said the Kerala High Court. “Such kind of marriages should be encouraged. There’s no boundary for love,” the court added. The court had earlier cautioned a lawyer arguing on behalf of the parents of Sruthi Meledath not to use ‘Love Jihad’ narrative as an excuse to break-up inter-faith marriages.

Sruthi had converted to Islam and married her classmate Anees. After their marriage, Sruthi’s parents moved a habeas corpus petition in the high court in May this year. She was produced in court and then allowed to go with Anees. Later, her parents reportedly took her to the yoga centre and kept her there for nearly two months. Last week, she had deposed before the court that she was tortured by counsellors and yoga trainers at the centre when she refused to leave her Muslim husband.

In recent months, a pervasive narrative of ‘love jihad’ has spread widely in Kerala. Last week, the Kerala government told the Supreme Court that there was no need for the NIA to probe alleged ‘love jihad’ case of Akhila Asokan alias Hadiya, whose marriage with Shafin Jahan was set aside in May by the Kerala High Court. The court also directed National Investigative Agency (NIA) to probe whether there was a wider pattern of alleged love jihad in the case. The order was later challenged by Shafin Jahan.

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