Love jihad twist to rape case raises eyebrows

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The rape case at Kasaragod in North Kerala has got a new twist, with a BJP MP from neighbouring Karnataka alleging of love-jihad has raised many eyebrows.

Lok Sabha MP from Udupi-Chikkamagaluru, Shobha Karandjale, alleged on Sunday that an 18-year old girl hailing from a Hindu family in Kasaragod was raped by a couple of youths from the Muslim community and was being blackmailed to convert to Islam. The BJP MP also accused the left-front government in Kerala of being conspicuous by its silence on the matter.

However, police officials at Kasaragod told DH that the girl never mentioned about any sorts of blackmailing or compulsion to convert to Islam by the accused. The girl's details statement was recorded by the police as well as the magistrate.

Kasargod MP Rajmohan Unnithan of the Congress alleged that the BJP was trying to give a communal colour to the incident, especially in the backdrop of the ongoing row over CAA.

According to Kasaragod district police chief James Joseph, the parents of the girl filed a man missing complaint couple of weeks back and subsequently, the girl was traced from Bengaluru along with a youth hailing from Palakkad district in Kerala. Her statement was recorded by the police and the magistrate and she never mentioned any sort of compulsion from the accused to convert to Islam.

But about a week later she came up with a complaint alleging that she was raped by another neighbour youth also about three years back when she was minor. Based on these two allegations two separate cases, one under the POCSO Act, were registered and the accused in one case was already arrested.

"Our prima facia finding was that the girl got in acquaintance with the youth through social media. No love jihad angle was either alleged by the girl or has not come up during the investigation so far," said the district police chief.

Another police officer said that the only aspect connected to in the girl's statements was that a Quran was spotted in a car in which she has taken to Bengaluru. 

Meanwhile, a senior police officer said that there has been an unfortunate trend in Kasaragod to give communal colour to each and every incident and this seems to be yet another one.

The BJP MP took the girl to Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa and senior police officers the other day to lodge petitions as she was allegedly raped in Bengaluru and Mangaluru.

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