Ananthakrishnan G, TNN 1 September 2009, 08:05am IST
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala police has constituted a special team to probe charges that jihadis are running an organized racket in the state's colleges to lure gullible girls in the name of love and then convert them for subsequent use in anti-national activities.
"We are investigating if there is any such design,'' DGP Jacob Punnoose told TOI. What jolted the sleuths into action was a habeus corpus petition in the Kerala high court from the parents of two MBA students. The students were staying in the same hostel at St John's College in Pathanamthitta district when they met a senior and grew fond of him.
But the boy proved to be a nuisance to the authorities and was expelled from the college some years ago. "He still managed to retain contact with four junior students, including the two MBA students and feigned love for them. The boy wanted them to get converted to Islam. But one of them suspected his intentions and withdrew while another developed psychiatric problems. The other two fell for him and eloped,'' college principal Sreekumaran Nair said.
When there was no news of their wards, the parents approached the high court with habeus corpus petitions. The girls were subsequently produced in court which allowed the parents the custody of their children for a week. When they appeared in court next, the girls stated they had been trapped and did not want to go back with the boy. In the period they were with him, one of them had already married the boy and the other was "forced to marry'' his friend, a bus conductor. In their statements given to police, the students claimed that they were shown jihadi videos and literature by the boy. Expressing concern over the development, the high court asked the police to probe deeper.
"When we searched the hostel, we found provocative literature given by the boy from the rooms of the two girls,'' the principal said. This was seized by the police who have now extended the probe to other campuses as well they feel this was not an isolated incident. Similar reports have been emerging for quite some time now but were mostly ignored for political reasons, police sources added.