The Government of India on Tuesday summoned a senior official of the Pakistan High Commission and issued a strong demarche over the abduction of Hindu girl from her wedding in Sindh province, official sources said.
The family of Bharti Bai, a 24-year-old Hindu woman from Hala in Pakistan’s Sindh province, has alleged she was kidnapped by unidentified people when she was set to be married to a Hindu man.
The official of the Pakistan high commission was summoned to the external affairs ministry and served a strong demarche or a formal diplomatic correspondence against the alleged abduction of the Hindu woman from her marriage ceremony on January 25 which was conducted with the help of police in Hala city.
India also served the Pakistani official a separate demarche regarding the desecration of Mata Rani Bhatiyani temple at Tharparkar in Sindh on January 26.
The Indian side asked the Pakistan government to investigate these incidents and take “urgent action for protecting and promoting the security, safety, and welfare of its citizens, including the minority Hindu community in Pakistan”, said a person who declined to be identified. The Pakistani side was also asked to take “immediate measures to expeditiously bring the perpetrators of such despicable and heinous acts to justice”, the person said.
Kishore Das, the father of Bharti Bai, said his daughter’s marriage was underway when the alleged kidnapper, Shah Rukh Gul, came with several men and policemen and took her away. Later, a picture showing Bharti Bai with documents regarding her conversion to Islam and marriage to Shah Rukh went viral on social media.
A first information report (FIR) was registered on Monday against four people for vandalizing Mata Rani Bhatiyani temple in a village near Chhachro town. According to the FIR, the temple was desecrated by four unidentified people on Sunday night.
Today’s summoning came just a few days after a senior official of Pakistan High Commission was summoned by Indian government over abduction of three Hindu and Sikh girls in two days in Pakistan. On January 17, India had lodged a strong protest against Pakistan after two consecutive cases of abductions of minor Hindu and Sikh girls were reported in the Islamic country.
Pakistan is notoriously known for its persecution of not only religious minorities but also ethnic minorities within their own country. The forceful conversion programs have often been unleashed against the minorities especially Christians, Sikhs and Hindus living in Pakistan with utmost brutality.
This violence against Hindus in Pakistan is now a common affair. A series of abductions and forceful conversions of minority Hindu and Sikh girls had recently rocked the country. In March, two underage Hindu girls Raveena (13) and Reena (15) were abducted from the Ghotki in Pakistan’s Sindh on the eve of Holi. The girls were later forcefully converted and married off to older Muslim men.
In another attack on Hindus, a medical student was found under mysterious circumstances inside her hostel room at a college in the Larkana area. The Hindu student Namrita Chandani, a final year BDS student in the Bibi Asifa Dental College of Larkana, Pakistan was found dead in her room on Monday. Namrita Chandani was found lying down with a rope tied around her neck under suspicious circumstances.