Pakistan: Minor Hindu girl kidnapped, forcibly converted to Islam by tutor in Sindh

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In yet another abduct-and-convert case from Pakistan, a Hindu girl from the country’s Sindh province was forcibly converted to Islam and married off, her father said. The 14-year-old girl, identified as Sohana, was kidnapped by her tutor, Akhtar and his accomplices. She was then sent to the Qazi Ahmed Taluka of Sindh’s Shaheed Benazirabaad district.

 

The teen girl’s father, Dileep Kumar, spoke about the incident and claimed that three armed men, Akhtar Gabol, Faizan Jat, and Sarang Khaskheli, broke into their home, stole gold jewellery, and kidnapped Sohana under threat of violence.

 

Dileep later filed a complaint with the police. Later, the girl appeared in a video stating clearly under duress that she had converted to Islam and married a Muslim man.

 

The girl was recovered by police from a house in the district, five days after being kidnapped, after a lot of hue of cry on social media.

 

Friday saw the introduction of Sohana before the district court in Larkana, where she informed the judge in her statement that she had been kidnapped, forced to convert to Islam, and wished to return home with her parents.

 

Although she appeared to be under strain when making her account, the judge postponed the case until June 12 and remanded her to a shelter home for women.

 

Her mother, Jamna Sharma, informed the media present at the court that her daughter was receiving instruction at home and that the tutor had just requested a loan of $100,000 from her.

 

“When my daughter told me about this I told the teacher he shouldn’t be discussing such matters with Sohana and he went away. But he returned after a day with some people and forcibly took her away at gunpoint. I pleaded with him to take the money and jewellery but leave my daughter but they didn’t listen,” Jamna said.

 

Her father told the media that all the documents produced by the accused to prove that she had converted to Islam and married a Muslim man of her own free will were fake.

 

“I don’t know how government officials can stamp such documents when the girl is 14 years old,” he said.

 

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

 

A minority group called Pakistan Darawar Ittehad (PDI) even organised a protest march from the Karachi Press Club to the Sindh Assembly Building in March, and some afflicted families from the countryside participated in the event.

 

According to Shiva Kachhi, president of the PDI, it is rare for a Hindu girl to be returned to her family because the police are typically unwilling to comply, despite the organization’s efforts.

 

“There have been dozens of cases since last year and most of these girls are underage be it Sheela Meghwar, who was abducted from Mirpur Mathelo in Ghotki on March 19 this year, Chanda Maharaj, Simran Kumari, Pooja Kumari, Satran Oad, Kaveeta Bheel, Vijjya Kumari or Sohana now,” he said.

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