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Another minor Hindu girl abducted from Pakistan’s Sindh, third case in a week

According to the First Information Report (FIR) registered by 16-year-old Mala Meghwar’s father, the incident occurred in Village Dhani Buksh Pitafi on an intervening night between March 16 and 17

The outrage over the kidnapping, forcible conversion and marriages of two teenage Hindu girls in Pakistan had yet not settled when another fresh report of a Hindu minor girl belonging to the Meghwar community, being kidnapped from Tando Bagho in Badin district in Pakistan’s Sindh province has surfaced.

The victim’s father has reportedly approached SSP Badin, Sardar Hassan Niazi, to register a case against suspects. According to the First Information Report (FIR) registered by 16-year-old Mala Meghwar’s father, the incident occurred in Village Dhani Buksh Pitafi on an intervening night between March 16 and 17.

As per the report, four men broke into their house at around 3 am and dragged the minor girl to a vehicle waiting outside the home and took her away.

The villagers, however, have claimed that the girl eloped with a boy and willingly converted to Islam of her own free will.
After the news of the abduction of the 16-year-old Hindu girl recently went viral on social media, Sindh minister for minorities affairs Hari Ram Kishori Lal has directed Badin SSP Sardar Hassan Niazi to register a case and take necessary measures to ensure the protection of the girl’s family.
This is the third case in a week where minor Hindu girls have been abducted and have been forced to convert their religion.
Prior to this, two Hindu girls, sisters aged 13 and 15, were abducted on March 20 and later converted to Islam, in Dharki town of Sindh’s Ghotki district in Pakistan. As per reports, the girls were abducted while they were celebrating the festival of Holi.
Following the news and videos of the girls being married and Muslim clerics declaring that the girls have accepted Islam started doing rounds on social media, the minority Hindu community, who have been struggling for their rights under apathetic governments in Pakistan, took to streets demanding action against the perpetrators.
Many rights activists and journalists also slammed the incident and criticised the blatant flouting of child marriage laws.

A war of words broke out between India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Pakistan’s Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry over the reported abduction, forced conversion and underage marriages of the two Hindu teenagers.

Raising doubts at Imran Khan’s ‘Naya Pakistan’, Sushma Swaraj blasted at the government saying that even in Imran Khan’s Naya Pakistan, girls of such tender age cannot be treated as individuals who can decide on religious conversions and marriage.

As Pakistan lobbied accusations of mistreatment of Muslims by India, India’s foreign ministry detailed three more examples of forced marriages of Hindu or Sikh women in Pakistan over the past two years.

The severe outrage compelled the Islamabad High Court to order the state to ensure that the two girls who were abducted and forcefully married to Muslim men following forced religious conversion are taken into protective custody.

However, after receiving severe backlash for being callous and apathetic over the rights of minorities, the Pakistan police finally arrested seven accused in connection to the alleged abduction, forced religious conversion and illegal marriage of the two minor Hindu girls.

Notably, in 2016, the Sindh Assembly had introduced the Forced Conversion Bill to protect the rights of minorities. It was passed jointly by members of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League. However, the bill could not see the light of day as the Governor was pressurised not to ratify the bill.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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