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Posted at: Apr 19, 2019, 7:04 AM; last updated: Apr 19, 2019, 12:50 PM (IST)

Another teenaged Hindu girl kidnapped, converted in Pak

Another teenaged Hindu girl kidnapped, converted in Pak
Pakistan Hindu activists stage a protest against forced conversions.

Lahore, April 18

Another teenaged Hindu girl was kidnapped by an “influential” Muslim man in Pakistan’s Punjab province, forcibly married and converted  into Islam, sparking outrage among the minority community that held a sit-in here on Thursday, blocking the city’s main road to press the Imran Khan government to recover her safely.

Holding placards and banners, the community members at Rahim Yar Khan, some 400-km from Lahore, were demanding the recovery of 17-year-old Naina and chanting slogans against forced conversions.

According to the FIR, Naina was kidnapped by Tahir Tamri, with the help of his father and brothers last month. It said the kidnappers took the girl to Karachi and got her converted to Islam at a seminary, Jamiatul Saeed Gulshan-i-Maima, after marrying her. She was given Muslim name Noor Fatima. The suspect uploaded pictures and videos of their marriage and her embracing of Islam on social media.

The Hindu community members took to the streets on the second consecutive day on Thursday to lodge their protest against the abduction and forced conversion of Naina. “Stop the forced conversion of Hindu girls after kidnapping them,” read a placard.

During the protest, the girl’s father, Ragu Ram, threatened that he will set himself on fire if justice is not provided. Rahim Yar Khan district reportedly houses 1.5 lakh Hindus. The protesters ended demonstration after police high-ups assured them that the justice would be done. 

Rahim Yar Khan police chief Umar Farooq Salamat said a team had been sent to Karachi to recover the girl. “A police team of RYK is present in Karachi to trace the girl and the suspect and hopefully we will soon trace them,” Salamat said. A Hindu lawmaker from Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party last month moved two bills in Parliament seeking enhancement of punishment for those involved in forced conversion and for making child marriage a cognisable offence. — PTI

1,000 cases in 2018, says rights panel

  • A Human Rights Commission of Pakistan report said around 1,000 cases of forced conversions and marriages of Hindu and Christian girls were reported in southern Sindh province in 2018 alone
  • Cities where such cases frequently occur included Umerkot, Tharparkar, Mirpurkhas, Badin, Karachi, Tando Allahyar, Kashmore and Ghotki, the report said
  • Two Hindu sisters Raveena (13) and Reena (15) were allegedly kidnapped by a group of “influential” men from their home in Ghotki district in Sindh on the eve of Holi in March this year
  • Soon after the kidnapping, a video went viral in which a cleric was purportedly shown soleminising the marriage of the two girls, triggering a nationwide outrage
75 lakh : Hindus live in Pakistan, majority of them in Sindh province, show estimates

25 forced : marriages take place per month in Umerkot district of Sindh alone, as per reports

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