National Commission for Minorities Vice Chairman George Kurian has written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, claiming that Christian girls are “soft targets” for Islamic terror recruiters in Kerala, The Indian Express reported on Thursday. “Love jihad” is a term frequently used by Hindutva organisations to allege a conspiracy by Muslim men to marry women from other religions solely to convert them to Islam.

Kurian said the matter was serious and warned that it could lead to “communal disharmony” in the state. “The spate of organised religious conversions and using the victims for terror activities by trapping them through ‘love jihad’ has shown that the Christian community is a soft target for Islamic radicals,” he wrote in his letter dated September 23.

He asked Shah to order a National Investigation Agency inquiry into the matter. “It is important that the home ministry takes note of this alarming trend and order a probe by the National Investigative Agency and bring in an effective law to curb such fraudulent activities of radicalised elements,” Kurian said.

The NIA has investigated 11 such cases, including that of Hadia – a Hindu girl who married a Muslim – in Kerala, according to India Today. However, the agency had found no basis for the allegations.

Kurian’s statement came after the National Commission for Minorities received complaints from two Christian families. One is a case of alleged rape, blackmail and coercive conversion attempts in Kozhikode, Kerala. The second case is that of a Malayali Christian girl from Delhi who was allegedly “allured and abducted” to a West Asian country. Kurian said the girl’s parents complained that she “could have been misled/cheated/brainwashed/abducted and led astray”.

Kurian said the number of women victims of “love jihad” between 2005 and 2012 was around 4,000, quoting reports by the Kerala Catholic Bishops Conference’s Commission for Social Harmony and Vigilance. “[It is] already a social and political issue in Kerala and had been since 2006,” he told The Hindu. “It’s been a continuous process. The conversion is not happening into Islam, but to terrorism. Even the Muslim community in the state is opposed to it. It needs to be taken seriously. Hence my letter to the home minister.”

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