Pak court sends 15-yr-old Hindu girl to women protection centre after forced conversion, marriage

Pak court sends 15-yr-old Hindu girl to women protection centre after forced conversion, marriage

KARACHI: A 15-year-old Hindu girl, who was forcibly converted to Islam and married to a Muslim man in Pakistan’s Sindh province, has been sent to a women protection centre following a court order, officials said.

Mehak Kumari, a class IXth student, was allegedly abducted from Jacobabad district on January 15 by Ali Raza Solangi who later married her. Her father Vijay Kumar filed an FIR, claiming that Solangi had abducted and married her forcibly. He also said that her daughter was 15-year-old when she was abducted.

Kumari and Solangi were produced before a court on Tuesday from where she was sent to the women police protection centre, according to court officials. The court also directed the Chandka Medical College Hospital to submit a report about her age by February 3.

The Express Tribune reported that Sindh Minorities Affairs Minister Hari Ram Kishori Lal has assured Kumari’s family of full support. In a telephonic conversation with the leader of a Hindu group of Jacobabad district on Wednesday, the minister said that the Sindh government fully supports the stance of the family and the Hindu group.

Lal said that forced conversion of minor Hindu girls has become a common issue, adding that Hindus of Sindh are its oldest inhabitants, and their lives and deaths are linked deeply with the soil of the province. He appealed to the authorities to take notice of the brutality and injustice being committed against Hindu girls and take measures to ensure security for the minority community.

Lal, pointing out that Kumari could not marry until she was 18 under the legislation of the Child Marriage Restraint Act, said that her marriage was a crime as per the law. The minister praised the court’s decision to send the girl to the women police protection centre, saying that girls in such cases should not be handed over to those who were involved in their abduction.

Abduction and conversion of Hindu women has been a major issue in Sindh province where the majority of Pakistani Hindus live. PTI