Over 36,000 missing women 'untraced' so far in Madhya Pradesh.

ISLAMABAD -- The Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, which made the controversial and anti-Muslim film 'The Kerala Story' tax-free, has the record of second highest cases of missing women in the country after West Bengal due to reasons other than conversion.

According to a 2021 report by Indian National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), the state has failed to track down 36,104 missing women, including 2,830 minor girls so far. With 40,719 victims, West Bengal tops the index of missing women in India, reported on Saturday.

The controversial film 'The Kerala Story' - accused of distorting figures and peddling hate - was endorsed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the Karnataka election campaign.

According to the filmmakers, the movie was a compilation of stories of three young girls who were allegedly systematically converted, radicalised, and their lives were destroyed.

The filmmakers who earlier claimed it was a story of 32,000 women missing from Kerala, reduced it to three after the Kerala government rebuffed their claims. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, in a strong statement, termed it a fake story, which is 'the product of the Sangh Parivar's (RSS) lie factory to spread their propaganda.'

The film was made tax-free in BJP-ruled states while it's facing pushback from non-BJP-ruled states. The Madhya Pradesh government, which exempted the tax for a month, withdrew it within five days triggering controversy. It was restored after the political backlash.

A day after the film was released on May 5, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan praised the film for its portrayal of the alleged systematic conversion of three young women.

The four-term CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan's announcement came at a time when 25,209 minors have been reported missing between 2019 and 2021 in the state. Of them, 2,830 minor girls can't be traced or recovered by the police. It includes overall untraced cases from previous years. With this, Madhya Pradesh became the third state (excluding the union territory of Delhi) with the highest cases of missing girl children after Bihar and West Bengal. In Bihar, 5,366 minors...

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