Interfaith marriage row: Congress plans to visit Joisna's parents after BJP steps in

DYFI leader Shejin with Joisna Mary Joseph

Kozhikode: A Congress delegation is likely to visit today the house of Joisna Joseph at Kodenchery in Kozhikode, whose marriage with a Muslim youth has triggered a controversy.

The opposition party had planned to visit the parents of Joisna earlier but it was postponed at the last minute. The district leadership of the Congress said a decision on the visit was yet to be taken.

The Congress alleged that the ruling CPM has been trying to create communal animosity over the marriage.

Joisna, a Christian woman, had recently married M S Shejin, a Muslim youth, who is the zonal secretary of the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), the youth wing of the CPM.

The woman’s parents filed a complaint with the Kodenchery police station on Saturday alleging that their daughter had gone missing. According to her father, Joisna had called him and said she has been held captive by someone. The local people, including parish priest and nuns, then took out protest marches to the police station in subsequent days claiming that it was a case of ‘love jihad', i.e., the alleged practice of Muslim men luring Hindu or Christian women to marry and then convert them into Islam. 

The couple, meanwhile, turned up at a local court on Tuesday and expressed their wish to live together. Joisna also told the court that she had come out of her house on her own will.

A statement by CPM district secretariat member and former Thiruvambady MLA George M Thomas escalated the issue after he told a news channel that the incident could damage communal harmony. 

The CPM which was at the receiving end following Thomas' remarks has tried to close the issue saying the marriage was the youngster's choice. The DYFI has also launched a campaign against 'love jihad' allegations.

BJP steps in

State BJP chief K Surendran on Thursday visited Joisna's house. "The parents of the woman suspect interventions by some external powers behind the marriage. They have demanded an inquiry into these. From the turn of events it doesn't look like an ordinary love marriage," he said.

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