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Pak: Sikh girl abducted, forcibly converted to Islam

August 30, 2019 23:54 IST

IMAGE: Governor of Punjab Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar with the father of the Sikh girl who was allegedly abducted and converted to Islam in Pakistan. Photograph: ANI

In yet another incident of conversion of girls from minority communities in Pakistan, a 19-year-old Sikh girl was allegedly abducted and converted to Islam before being married to a Muslim man in the country's Punjab province.

A first information report has been registered against six people in the case, Muhammad Jamil, Nankana City Police Investigation Officer, told PTI.

One of the suspects Arsalan, a friend of prime suspect Mohammad Hassan who married the Sikh girl, has been arrested.

"Arsalan facilitated Hassan in getting him married to the Sikh girl," he said, adding that Hassan is on a pre-arrest bail and could not be arrested.

 

Jamil said that Hassan and the girl live in the same locality.

"They developed a love affair and the girl decided to elope with him to contract marriage," he said.

Jamil said that the advocate of the girl, identified as Jagjit Kaur, in her statement before the court declared that she embraced Islam and married Hassan of her free will.

The police official said that the girl, through her lawyer Sheikh Sultan, rejected her family's allegations.

Sultan said that he has also filed a petition in the Lahore high court against local police and her family on behalf of the girl.

As per the directions of the court, Kaur has been sent to Darul Aman, Lahore (shelter home).

Meanwhile, a video of the girl at the wedding ceremony has also gone viral on social media.

In the video, the girl is seen sitting beside Hassan and saying that she was marrying him without any pressure.

The family of the girl, in a video message, have claimed that Kaur was abducted and forcibly converted to Islam and sought Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's help.

In a related development, the Punjab government has constituted a high-level panel to negotiate with the 30-member committee formed by the Sikh community in connection with the case.

Prime Minister Khan had in March ordered a probe into reports of abduction, forced conversion and underage marriages of two teenage Hindu girls in Sindh province.

The two girls were allegedly kidnapped by a group of "influential" men from their home in Ghotki district in Sindh on the eve of Holi.

MEA asks Pak govt to take remedial action

India on Friday said it has raised the issue with Pakistan and asked for 'immediate remedial action'.

In response to a media query regarding the incident, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the ministry has received a number of representations from various quarters of civil society in India, including Sikh religious bodies, at the 'reports of the incident of abduction and forced conversion of a minor Sikh girl in Pakistan'.

"We have shared these concerns with the government of Pakistan and asked for immediate remedial action," he said.

M Zulqernain in Islamabad
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