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Now, Catholic priest warns against ‘ignoring love jihad

Kochi:

Continuing the debate on “Love Jihad” in Kerala, a senior priest of the Catholic Church said the incidents of young women from the southern state being used as “sex slaves” in war-torn nations are a reality and turning a blind eye to it “amounts to giving a silent sanction” to that.


Days after the state government rejected the Syro-Malabar Church Bishops’ view over the issue of “Love Jihad” in the state, KCBC spokesperson Fr Varghese Vallikkatt has criticised the state and central governments for not conducting a proper probe into the cases of “missing women and children” from the state.


Kerala Catholic Bishops Council (KCBC) is the apex body of the Bishops of various Catholic rites in Kerala. Syro-Malabar Church head Cardinal George Alencherry is its current president. Asserting that ‘Love Jihad’ is a reality, Vallikkatt said in a video released on Sunday that ignoring such incidents “amounts to giving a silent sanction” to it.


In the videoclip, aired by media, the priest said no effective investigation has been carried out either by the Centre or by the state government into the whereabouts of the people who went missing “after being trapped in love”.


Quoting media reports, Vallikkatt said such missing women and children were later traced to other nations where they are being used as sex slaves and terror operatives. Referring to the incidents of Christian women taken to Syria and Afghanistan after being allegedly trapped in “Love Jihad”, he said some of them were traced even to jails of the conflict-hit nations. The priest further said the probe into the cases of ‘Love Jihad’ have not reached the real culprits so far.


He blamed governments for not maintaining a data of ‘Love Jihad’ cases even after the courts made strong obersevations on it.


Vallikkatt said that, in the video, he was expressing the views of the people on the issue.


His statement is also in line with the stand of the Synod of the Syro-Malabar Church, which recently kicked up a debate, saying “Love Jihad is a reality” and alleged that scores of Christian women from the state were being lured into the trap of Islamic State and used in terror activities.


The Synod has accused the state police of not viewing the matter cautiously and taking timely action in Love Jihad cases.


Responding to the allegations of the Synod, Kerala finance minster Thomas Isaac had said the charges of the Bishops have “no factual basis.”


“If there are concrete cases or allegations, they will definitely be looked into. But the Kerala government does not believe that there is any basis for such generalisation,” he had said. AGENCIES


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