Two Hindu girls, Reena, and Raveena from Ghotki in Sindh, Pakistan who were allegedly abducted, forcefully converted to Islam and married off, have been ordered by the Islamabad High Court to return to live with their Muslim husbands.
According to reports, the Islamabad High Court ordered the Ghotki sisters to return back to their Muslim husbands Safdar Ali and Barkat Ali after two girls allegedly confessed in front of the court that they had willingly converted to Islam given they were impressed by the Islamic teachings.
A High Court bench led by Chief Justice of IHC Athar Minallah made the decision after a five-member commission had submitted the report, which was tasked to probe whether the conversion of the Hindu sisters to Islam was forced or otherwise. The High Court had also ordered earlier that the two sisters be shifted to a shelter home in Islamabad until the hearing was completed.
The commission had informed the court that alleged medical tests had proven that the girls were aged 18 and 19, and therefore not minors.
On March 20, two underage Hindu girls Raveena (13) and Reena (15) were abducted from their home in Pakistan’s Sindh on the eve of Holi. The girls were later forcefully converted and married off to older Muslim men. The case had generated widespread outrage among the minority Hindus of Pakistan who have been struggling for their rights under apathetic governments in Pakistan.
Within days of this deplorable incident, another Hindu minor girl belonging to the Meghwar community was also allegedly kidnapped from Tando Bagho in Badin district in Pakistan’s Sindh province.
Following the incident, Sushma Swaraj, India’s Union Minister of External Affairs had sought details on the abduction of two Hindu girls on the eve of Holi in Pakistan’s Sindh province. Sushma Swaraj had asked the Indian High Commissioner in Pakistan to send a report on the incident.
After receiving severe backlash for being apathetic towards 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.
The severe outrage had 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.
The case of the organised abductions and forceful conversions of Hindu girls by a politically influential Mosque in the area had generated widespread condemnation among many human rights activists, Hindu rights groups and journalists in the country.