Girls Being Forced and Blackmailed Into Conversion a Universal Problem, Says NCW Chief Rekha Sharma
Rekha Sharma is on a three-day visit to Kerala. Her comments come in the backdrop of several cases in the state where there were allegations that girls were forcibly converted to another religion.
File photo of National Commission for Women (NCW) chairperson Rekha Sharma.
Kozhikode: National Commission for Women chairperson Rekha Sharma said here that the problem of girls being lured, forced and blackmailed into converting is a universal one, irrespective of religion.
Sharma is on a three-day visit to Kerala. Her comments come in the backdrop of several cases in the state where there were allegations that girls were forcibly converted to another religion.
On Monday, she met the girl at the centre of one such case, Hadiya, at her residence in Kottayam.
Sharma said that girls are the ultimate sufferers in all these cases, calling it a type of human trafficking.
"We are talking about human trafficking in a different way. These girls are being taken away from their families, their countries and are being used by terrorist groups. Not all, but some cases are like that,” she said.
“These groups are creating parallel guardianship. Not just Hindus, I met Muslim parents whose girls married Hindus and converted to Hinduism. The parents don't know the whereabouts of the children. I met parents and girls from all religions," she added.
She said that this is not a case of any particular religion, should not be made into a religious issue but these are problems faced by the girls.
The NCW chairperson also said that one should look into the funding of organisations that are supporting the girls who ran away from their homes.
"Who is funding these organisations which are helping these girls to stay away from their families? Where is the fund coming from? What is their motto? Why are the organizations funding such cases?" Sharma asked.
She said that the issue of forced conversion is very serious and the state government need to investigate it while clarifying that it was not about just one religion. I will not call these cases love jihad, Sharma said,
She will be meeting the state DGP to talk about the situation.
NCW Chairperson’s comments did not go down well with Kerala’s Women’s Commission. Chairperson M C Josephine said that forceful conversions are not happening in Kerala, and that Sharma’s statement might be politically motivated.
To this allegation, Sharma replied, "I am not contesting elections here, so I don't have any vote bank. For me, it’s a matter of the girls. The people who are making such statements have political motives.”
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