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Pakistan: 8 persons arrested in Pakistan over abduction and forceful conversion of Sikh girl

Following widespread outrage over rampant forced conversions and the Pakistan government's inaction, police in Nankana Sahib have informed now that the girl has been found and has been handed over to her family.

A Pakistani Sikh girl Jagjit Kaur, who was kidnapped and forcibly converted to Islam in Pakistan has finally returned home to her parents, Nankana Sahib police said on Friday. The police have arrested eight people in connection with the incident.

According to the reports, the girl, identified as 19-year old Jagjit Kaur, was allegedly kidnapped and forced to marry a Muslim man in Pakistan. Reportedly, the Pakistan man, who forcibly converted and married Sikh girl is affiliated to 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed’s proscribed terror outfit Jama’at-ud-Da’wah (JuD).

The development comes after the Indian government had said that it raised the issue with Pakistan and asked for “immediate remedial action”.

Raveesh Kumar, Spokesperson of Ministry of External Affairs said the ministry has received a number of representations from various quarters of civil society in India, including Sikh religious bodies, at the “reports of the incident of abduction and forced conversion of a minor Sikh girl in Pakistan”.

“We have shared these concerns with the government of Pakistan and asked for immediate remedial action,” he said.

Following widespread outrage over rampant forced conversions and the Pakistan government’s inaction, police in Nankana Sahib have informed now that the girl has been found and has been handed over to her family. The eight persons arrested include the father of the man who forcibly married the girl.

The incident came to light on Thursday after a Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MLA, Manjinder Singh Sirsa shared a video of the girl’s family alleging that the girl was kidnapped and forcefully converted.

The incident had drawn the attention of Sikhs worldwide and sparked anger in the community. The matter had raised a huge furore in India with several political leaders across parties asking for action to be taken against the perpetrators.

Strongly protesting against the horrific act, Punjab CM Amarinder Singh had slammed Pakistan PM Imran Khan for ensuring the safety of minorities in his country. Expressing disgust over the incident, Captain Amarinder Singh requested External Affairs Minister of India S Jaishankar to strongly take up the matter with his Pakistani counterpart over the forced conversion of a Sikh girl into Islam.

Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh too had echoed similar sentiments and demanded Imran Khan to take strong action in this case. He had also tweeted that every religion is beautiful and that people should not assume God’s responsibilities and let god decide which religion one is born into.

Note: As per the latest reports, the family of the girl has denied the claims made by Pakistan police. They have stated that the girl was never brought home and the reports of arrest of kidnappers are also incorrect. The latest developments can be read here.

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