'Alleged Love Jihad & ISIS Abduction’ Case:Victim Girl’s Mother Withdraws Plea in SC for NIA Probe

Bindu Sampath, the mother of suspected ISIS sympathizer Nimisha alias Fathima from Kerala has withdrawn her petition filed in the Supreme Court in October last year seeking its intervention and a direction for a National Investigation Agency (NIA) investigation into alleged incidents of love jihad radicalization in the state of Kerala.

Senior advocate Shyam Divan and lawyer Aishwarya Bhati who appeared for Bindu Sampath submitted before a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud on April 13 that they wished to withdraw the petition for “filing a properly drafted petition with more evidence and materials”

 “Shyam Divan, learned senior counsel appearing for the petitioner, on being instructed, seeks leave of this Court to withdraw the writ petition with liberty to file a properly drafted writ petition”, the bench noted in the order allowing the petitioner to withdraw the plea.

Bindu had claimed that her daughter Nimisha converted to Islam to become Fathima, married a Christian who embraced Islam later and who allegedly lured her away to Afghanistan and recruited her into ISIS.

Bhati had argued that Nimisha, a student of a dental college, “was coerced, manipulated and brainwashed by the idea of jihad. She was taken away to Afghanistan and enrolled into the ISIS”.

 “She is now believed to be in Khorasan Province in Afghanistan”, it was told.

In the writ petition, the mother alleged that “terrorist organisations like the ISIS are operating a well-orchestrated and well-oiled scheme. It is not a case of isolated instances of entrapment and exploitation but one involving a motivated scheme of operation at a much larger scale. Young, impressionable and vulnerable girls and boys professing Hinduism, Sikhism, and Christianity are identified for conversion to Islam with the eventual motive to recruit them for practicing or propagating jihad”.

She sought a direction to the Centre “to conduct a comprehensive investigation through the National Investigating Agency (NIA) in the case of Nimisha, as well as in the other reported instances of love jihad, as a mode of indoctrination/recruitment into terrorist and anti-national activities, taking place across Kerala as well as the rest of the country”.

“The phenomenon has wreaked havoc in the lives of many young, hapless girls, including the petitioner’s daughter, and poses a grave threat to national security,” as stated in the plea.

 SC REFUSED TO CLUB IT WITH HADIYA CASE

Bhati had mentioned Sampath’s petition several times during the hearing of the Hadiya case but the bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra refused to club the cases and had said it would be dealt with separately. The bench was categorical that no interventions will be permitted in the Hadiya case as it was purely an appeal against an order of a High Court.

Supreme Court had on March 9 upheld 25-year-old Hadiya’s marriage to Shafin Jahan, setting aside a Kerala high court judgement that had invalidated it on allegations that she was converted to Islam by force.

While delivering the verdict, the bench gave liberty to the NIA to continue the investigations but made it categorical that it cannot “touch” the marriage in question.

While affirming that Hadiya's had all the freedom “to pursue her future endeavours according to law”, the bench said “marriage and plurality are the fundamental core of our culture. Plurality in India should be zealously guarded. The moment you allow public law (law of relations between individuals and the State) to encroach into marriage, you are letting the state interfere in individual choices of a citizen,”