New twist in the case of forced conversion of Hindu girl in Pakistan
The girl has said in her statement in front of the court that she has changed her religion without any pressure from her will. On the other hand, the girl’s father alleges that some people took her (girl) away, after which she has been forced to convert.
The girl was produced on Wednesday in the court of Civil Judge Munavvar Pirzada of Tangwani, Tehsil, Kashmarkot, North Sindh with police protection from the shelter home, where the court recorded the girl’s statement.
The girl says that she has changed her religion by reaching the Dargah Bharchondi on her own and now her name is Umme Hina. The girl has also said in her statement that there was no pressure on her to change religion.
Advocate Abdul Ghani Bijrani, on behalf of the girl’s parents, requested the court that the girl is a minor. Advocate Abdul Ghani has also requested the court to set up a medical board to find out whether the girl has been raped.
Remember that Sindh is prohibited from marrying under 18 years of age. If someone marries under the age of 18 or helps in getting married, a case can be filed against him.
Advocate Abdul Ghani Bijrani has alleged that the Nikahnama (marriage certificate) is not being presented due to the Sindh Child Marriage Restaurant Act (Prevention of Child Marriage Act). Therefore, they have requested the formation of a medical board.
A written request also states that the matter should be transferred to the Anti-Terrorism Court. According to the lawyer of this case, Abdul Ghani Bijrani, the crime of kidnapping of minors comes under Section 364 of the ATA. Therefore, by including it in the FIR, the case should be conducted in an anti-terrorism court.
The lawyer also said that the girl cannot live with non-maharams (people from whom the curtain is necessary). Therefore, she should be handed over to her parents or she should be transferred to the children’s shelter home, after which the court has ordered the girl to be shifted to Sukkur shelter home.
Advocate Saeed Ahmed Bijrani appeared on behalf of Pir of Bharchondi, who later told reporters that the court met the girl and her parents in private, after which the statement was recorded. He has claimed that the girl said that she wants to go to Pir of Bharondi, so that she can continue her Islamic education.
According to advocate Saeed Ahmed, he has also made the same request that the girl be sent to the Dargah Bharchandi. Because it is an ‘important Islamic institution’. But the court has ordered that the girl will be sent to the child protection center till the police investigation is completed.
‘Kidnapped in white car’
The girl’s father Takht Mal had lodged an FIR with the Tangwani police station that at 4 pm on March 9, a white colored car stopped outside his house, out of which five others including Mushtaq, Bhoral came out. He had a pistol and scared everyone so that no one would protest, they would take the girl and marry her to Mushtaq.
According to the FIR, Mushtaq “grabbed the 13-year-old girl by her arm and took her along and rode in the car and left”. The father suspects that his daughter has been kidnapped for marriage.
After this case, a video went viral on social media. In which the Pir of Dargah Bharchandi is sitting on the bed and the girl is sitting on the ground and people are standing around, all of whom are men. Pir recites the verse and the girl repeats them in a slow voice, then Pir rotates the note over the girl and hands it to her disciples.
The girl was produced in court on Tuesday along with Pir’s supporters of Bharchandi without the knowledge of her parents. Due to the absence of the plaintiff’s parents, the court adjourned the hearing till Wednesday.
The girl was kept in a decaying safe house. Where the video of the presence of devotees of Dargah Bharchandi and bringing food also went viral on social media. According to reports, when the girl’s father and mother went there to meet, they were allegedly not allowed to meet.
These videos are being severely criticized. Pakistan People’s Party leader Sukhdev said that the girl has been forced to convert. She further said that she is personally looking into the matter and is in touch with Shehla Raza, Minister of State in the Ministry of Women Development.
Apart from the Hindu community in Kandkot, political parties have also protested against the alleged abduction and conversion of the girl.
After the debate on social media and news in the media, the incident of fire in the girl’s house has also come to light three days ago. Speaking to the BBC, the girl’s cousin Shehzad alleged that around four o’clock in the night, four people came, threatening the girl’s father to keep quiet and not to contact the media.
According to Shahzad, he set fire to the dry grass kept there, due to which the house was also engulfed in flames. According to Shahzad, this was his uncle’s only home, which was rented.
According to Shahzad, his uncle lives by selling tea biscuits. SSP Amjad Sheikh told the BBC that the arson claim is not true. According to him, the digchi was kept on fire. Due to which some things were burnt due to fire and now a police post has also been built there. Shahzad said that after this incident a police post was established there.