A 17-year-old Hindu girl in Pakistan’s Sindh was kidnapped and converted to Islam. The minor is a resident of Naukot, Mirpur Khas district in Sindh province in Pakistan.
According to her family, the girl was kidnapped on February 15 from Naukot market where she had gone with her younger brother to purchase vegetables.
Her younger brother said the girl was being taunted by one Rouf, a resident of Umerkot and his two friends. On February 15, when the siblings reached Naukot market, Rouf along with his friends forcefully took the girl away with them.
The girl’s father Ramesh Bheel said that the Naukot Police only made entries in the records of missing persons and had not registered the FIR against Rouf and his friends.
Bheel said that the police personnel stressed that she must have left with Rouf on her own will and he should wait another week before a kidnapping case can be registered against the accused.
On February 19, Naukot Police called the father and gave him a copy of the certificate dated February 18 which mentioned that the girl had embraced Islam on her own free will. Police said the girl’s name has also been changed after the conversion.
According to Inspector, Naukot Police Station, “the girl in a telephone call confirmed her acceptance of Islam and said she desires to reside with Rouf’s family in SamandKhala, Umarkot.”
The girl’s father now fears that he may not meet her daughter anymore as she would be married to her kidnapper when she turns major in three months.
Earlier in January this year, a married Hindu woman Shanti Jog was abducted from the Sindh Province of Pakistan province and was raped after she refused to convert to Islam.
The woman alleged that she was gang-raped by three men for three days before she managed to escape. The woman uploaded a video on social media where she alleged that she was raped in Samaro town, Umarkot District and a case hasn’t been registered.
Earlier in December 2022, a 40-year-old Hindu woman was brutally killed in Sinjhoro town. The woman was beheaded and her private parts were chopped off.
In June last year, a teenage Hindu girl Kareena Kumari told a local court here that she was forcibly converted to Islam and married to a Muslim man.
Abduction, forcible conversion to Islam and marriage of Hindu girls, mostly minors to Muslims, continue unabated in various areas of Pakistan, particularly in Sindh.
Earlier, on January 16, 2023, the United Nations (UN) experts expressed grave concern about the alarming rise in coerced marriages, kidnappings and forced conversions of minor girls belonging to religious minority communities in Pakistan.
The UN experts had called for immediate action to ensure justice for the minor victims. They emphasised, “We urge the Government to take immediate steps to prevent and thoroughly investigate these acts objectively and in line with domestic legislation and international human rights commitments.”
“Perpetrators must be held fully accountable…We are deeply troubled to hear that girls as young as 13 are being kidnapped from their families, trafficked to locations far from their homes, made to marry men sometimes twice their age, and coerced to convert to Islam, all in violation of international human rights law,” UN experts added.
Human rights groups say that forced conversion and marriage of young women from minority communities is a growing problem in Pakistan.
According to a report, over 1000 underage girls belonging to the minority Hindu, Christian and Sikh communities are kidnapped and forcefully converted to Islam every year subjected to rape and forcibly married to old men in Pakistan.
Forced conversion and kidnapping of Hindu girls, and their forced marriage to old Muslim men are mainly in the Sindh province, which hosts about 90 per cent of the minority community (Hindu and Sikh).