|Source: News Bharati|
Karachi (Pakistan), March 12: It is now officially confirmed that on an average around 20 to 25 Hindu girls are being forcibly converted to Islam every month in the southern Sindh province of Pakistan. This has been disclosed in a recent report of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP).
In a Press conference at Karachi, helpless Hindu families of victims of forced conversions demanded that their girls should be returned to them.
The issue of Hindu girls being forcibly converted has come to the fore after the case of 18-year-old Rinkle Kumari from Sukkur who has converted and taken the Muslim name of Faryal after marrying a Muslim boy. The family of the girl claims she was kidnapped and forcibly converted even after she appeared in court in Sukkur and claimed she converted out of her own free will.
It was a piteous scene in the Press conference that Rinkle’s inconsolable mother covered her face with a dupatta and was weeping silently.
Amarnath Motumal of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) said that within a month 20 forced conversions had taken place. “Apart from minor school girls, married women with children are not spared either,” he said. Urging the authorities to take note of these forced conversions, HRCP officials told reporters on Saturday that culprits were taking advantage of loopholes in the law.
Motumal also pointed out that not only were affected families warned of dire consequences but whenever a Hindu girl or her family appeared in court hundreds of religious zealots gather to pressurise them or they take to the streets as pressure tactics and to create an atmosphere of fear.
The families of Rinkle Kumari were also present at the conference in which her brother Inder said that had she been allowed to meet with her family members privately and even once she would never have converted.
“Despite the President’s orders for the girl’s rescue we are still waiting for something to be done.”
Challenging the claims that the conversions are voluntary and not forced, Amarnath Motumal asked, “Why are Hindu men not converting? Why is it that only young girls of a marriageable age are surfacing in these cases? And if these girls are so keen to convert, why don’t they go to madrassas, learn the religion and then go through with it?”
Motumal raised a logic that, “When a girl is converted, why is she married off immediately?” He further asked that if the girl is converted for the sake of Islam, then why she doesn’t join a madrassa to educate herself and spread knowledge about the religion.
The family of Rinkle Kumari, who was allegedly abducted, forced to covert and marry a Muslim, claimed that they are receiving death threats. “Take the case back or we will kill you all,” is the threat the family received on March 8, according to the Rinkle’s brother-in-law Inder Lal. A frustrated Inder Lal said that if Rinkle had converted and married of her own free will, she would have held a press conference immediately after the court’s decision. “For six days, she was quiet. It was only when the issue was raised internationally, that she came in front of the media.”
Notably, after the last court hearing in Sukkur, Rinkle appeared before the media and stated that she was not forced by anyone. But her family has stuck to its stance that Rinkle’s conversion to Islam and her marriage to Naveed Shah was forced.
The family, who are in Karachi for the time being, asked that Rinkle should be taken to ‘Darul Aman’, a neutral place for at least eight days and be allowed to meet her family,.
“We can’t even sleep at night, wondering whether our kidnapped girls would become suicide bombers or would they be sold off into prostitution,” said Motumal.
Motulal said that the ‘forced conversion’ is not a new practice, claiming that extremists are taking advantage of the religion by preaching at madrassas on how to convert non-Muslims. He further said, “When an underage girl is forced to convert, she is not allowed to meet her family. She is told that the people who gave birth to her and raised her have become Kaafirs,”
The press conference was also attended by the family of 29-year-old Dr Lata Kumari, who was kidnapped on February 28 on her way to the College of Physicians and Surgeons in DHA. Her family alleged that she has been forcibly converted and married to Nadir Baig Dhar, the son of a suspended judge.
Lata’s father, Dr Ramesh Kumar, spoke out against the harsh treatment that the family received in the court on March 7. “The police did not even let us meet Lata at the first hearing of the case and they beat us with sticks,” said Lata’s mother, a hypertension patient. “The kidnappers did not leave burqa-clad Lata alone for even a minute. Nadir and his goons would come in front of me every time I approached her. I could not even look at my daughter properly.”
Kumar said that they knew Nadir from before, claiming that the accused had converted five Hindu girls already. According to Lata’s brother Vishal, Nadir works at the quality assurance department of a motor company.
Kumar alleged that the signature on the documents were not Lata’s. Lata, who has an MBBS degree from Larkana, used to live at the Aga Khan hostel and had worked as a medical researcher,. Two of her siblings are also doctors and live in Hyderabad, while the rest of the family lives in Jacobabad.
It was also informed that a Hindu girl Asha Devi, who used to work at a beauty parlour, never made it home from work, is been kidnapped and converted.
HRCP’s Badar Soomro condemned the forced conversions of the three per cent minority population in the country. “Why are the extremists after the minorities? Let them live freely.”
Soomro said there was a need to enact new laws to restore a sense of security among the Hindu community. He also said if a girl is kidnapped and her family registers a case she should be kept in a Darul Aman at least for a month before she is produced in court to record her statement.
On March 8, the Supreme Court has directed the Sindh police IG to find Lata, Rinkle and another Hindu girl Pooja Devi, and present them at the next hearing on March 26.
However, the families were not hopeful. “They [the courts] record statements under section 164 and then the girl are sent immediately with the criminals,” said Motumal. “She is given no time to think about her decision or talk to her family.” He suggested that the court should give such girls a week’s time to make up their mind, while they stay at the Darul Aman with their mother.
It’s becoming worst and worst for Hindu families to live with dignity in Pakistan. It is surprising and strange all time furious Human Rights activists or crazy Media in India has kept a complete silence on the issue that Hindu girls are being converted and married to a Muslim.
It might be because such cases happen in India also. What’s new in that?