PFI-run centre used hypnosis on converts in ‘love-jihad’ cases : NIA

New Delhi : A religious facilitation centre run by Popular Front of India — under investigation for its role in cases of alleged “love jihad” — is understood to have used “hypnotic counselling” to indoctrinate neo-converts undergoing an ‘Islamic learning’ course there, that other faiths were inferior, according to a National Investigation Agency probe.

The centre, Sathyasarini, claims to impart Islamic religious lessons and NIA is understood to have found that preachers at the institution believe in targeting the sub-conscious mind, to drum in propaganda that is intended highlight the “doomed” fate of alleged non-believers.

The role of Sathyasarini or Markaz Hidaya Da’wa Institute based in Manjeri has emerged in nine of the 11 “forced conversion” cases being examined by the NIA as part of its ‘love jihad’ probe. Persons converted or attempted to be converted allegedly by PFI activists were sent to the Sathyasarini Islamic learning centre for a two-month religious course that included self-suggestion or auto-suggestion techniques, sources said.

Investigators, going by their findings, see a pattern of systematic efforts by PFI-social democratic party of India activists to use allurement, confinement and coercion to persuade individuals to go to Sathyasarini and then convert them by intensive counselling and indoctrination through videos of alleged persecution of Muslims. The use of alleged atrocities to motivate recruits has been a common tactic of fundamentalist organisations.

PFI, however, denies the allegations. “The agency is wilfully maligning and tarnishing the image of a peaceful and law-abiding organisation striving hard for social upliftment of weaker sections in the country and justice. NIA is appeasing its masters by deviating from the path of truthful investigations,” Mohammad Shamoon, director (public relations) in PFI told TOI.

The cases NIA is looking at include young men — apart from women — in Kerala who were targets of allegedly forced conversions and include the Hadiya case where the SC ruled that she is free to live with her husband. The cases are linked to PFI and its political wing SDPI and follow directions of the Supreme Court to take the probe to its logical conclusion.

The probe is aimed at establishing if there was an organised effort to convert people from other faiths to Islam through ‘love-jihad’. Sources said that while parties in six cases who underwent conversion or were coerced to convert are females, four cases relate to men who converted while in relationship with a Muslim partner. The conversion attempts were understood to have failed in three cases.

The PFI-SDPI link has been found common to all cases. Around 13 persons have been arrested so far in three cases, and all of them are alleged PFI cadres or sympathisers.

NIA investigators have also found that all 25 persons arrested for violent protests organised in Kerala under the banner of Muslim Ekopana Samithi on May 29, 2017, against decision of the Kerala High Court to annul Hadiya’smarriage to Shafin, were associated with PFI or SDPI.

Source : TOI

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