Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], September 22 (ANI): Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan while presenting the data of Keralites who joined terror groups and details about narcotic cases said that those creating unwanted controversies about 'Love jihad' and 'Narcotics Jihad' do not have any factual backing.
Giving details about the Malayalees who joined ISIS, in a press meet here on Wednesday, the Chief Minister said that the propaganda that girls from other religions are lured in the name of love and converted to Islam to be recruited to terror organisations was unfounded.
"The government checked the facts. Of the 100 Malayalees who joined ISIS, 72 went abroad for professional purposes and became attracted to IS ideas and joined it. All of them except one Hindu were from the Muslim community. The other 28 were found to have left Kerala attracted by ISIS ideology. Of those 28 who joined ISIS, only 5 converted from other religions to Islam," said the Chief Minister about the 'Love Jihad' controversy.
Vijayan also said that the controversy that organised efforts are underway in the name of 'Narcotics Jihad' in Kerala is baseless.
"In 2020 under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS), 1985 Act, 4,941 cases were registered in Kerala. Of the 5,422 accused, 2700 (49.80 per cent) were Hindus, 1869 (34.47 per cent) were Muslims and 853 (15.73 per cent) were Christians. The ratio does not suggest that drug trafficking is based on any particular religion. Also, no cases of religious conversion by forced drug use have been reported," said the Chief Minister.
Regarding the de-radicalisation efforts, Vijayan said, "From 2018, Kerala police special branch is running de-radicalisation programmes in the state for the youths. Some youths who were influenced by ISIS ideas were de-radicalised and brought back to the mainstream. Counter radicalisation programmes are being run through Mahal committees in various districts which are also successful. But due to COVID-19, it was stopped in 2020, which will be restarted again."
Further, Vijayan reiterated that the remark of Pala Bishop on 'Narcotic Jihad' and 'Love Jihad' and the controversy that followed was unfortunate.
"Some are trying to create unwanted controversies. There are two issues - Love Jihad and Narcotic Jihad. Love or narcotics should not be put on the account of any particular community. Those spreading this do not have factual backing. The concern that forced religious conversion is taking place from Christian religion to Islam is also baseless," he said.
Kerala Chief Minister also ruled out opposition demand for calling all-party meetings to discuss the issues of 'Love Jihad' and 'Narcotics Jihad'.
"Now, there is no need for such a meeting. The political parties can use their respective platforms to spread the message of peace and unity to counter it. There are some with vested interests who are trying to divide society through religious polarisation. Such attempts will fail in Kerala," he added. (ANI)