Pak police recover kidnapped Hindu girl

Karachi: A minor Hindu girl, who was allegedly kidnapped by an Aghan Pashtun family, forcibly converted to Islam and married off to a Muslim man in Pakistan’s Sindh province has been recovered from Karachi, police said.

Raveena Meghwal was kidnapped from the Sanjar Chang area of Tando Allahyar in the Southern Sindh province and was taken to Karachi, said SSP Tando Allahyar, Syed Saleem Shah.

A complaint about the kidnapping was filed by the girl’s family and the Pakistan Dahrawar Ittehad (PDI) , a body fighting for minorities rights in the Sindh province.

“After investigating the matter we sent a team to Karachi from where the girl was safely recovered and brought back to Mirpurkhas,” Shah said.

The Afghan Pashtun family claimed the girl had converted to Islam and married Jamo Khan out of her own free will, he said.

Interestingly, when the girl and the accused were presented in a magistrate’s court in Tando Allahyar on Saturday, Jamo Khan and his lawyer produced a marriage certificate but when the accused was asked to submit his national identity card it turned out he didn’t even have a Pakistani NIC and was carrying a Afghan ID card.

Magistrate, Saba Omar has sent the girl to a safe home and for a medical examination and said the statement of the girl would be recorded later.

The magistrate allowed the girl to meet with her parents and relatives in the court where she told the media she was forcibly abducted and taken to a house in Karachi where Jamo Khan had a person and some witnesses read a ‘Nikah’ (marriage contract) after forcing her to first convert to Islam.

The PDI has demanded that Jamo Khan and his associates should be tried under the Sindh Child Marriage Act and the Maulvi who performed the ‘Nikah’ (marriage contract) and witnesses should all be arrested as well.

Kidnapping and forced conversions of young Hindu girls in the interior of Sindh have become a menace for Hindu families.

In recent months there has been a surge in such cases in interior Sindh with the lower courts flooded with applications from affected parents seeking justice and the return of their daughters, sisters and wives.

Hindus form the biggest minority community in Pakistan. According to official estimates, 75 lakh Hindus live in the Muslim-majority country.