Pakistan : Save Kajal, a minor Hindu girl forcefully converted and married to a Muslim

Minor Hindu girl Kajal was kidnapped, forcefully converted and married to a man twice her age, in ‘PAKISTAN’ !

January 19th, 2015 : Kajal’s court hearing was postponed today. All court activity was suspended in Pakistan, due to strikes protesting against cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad. Kajal was at the court, but returned with her abductor. A new date for the hearing is expected within the next few days.

GHRD is outraged by the prolonged legal process during which Kajal is forced to stay with the perpetrator instead of being given the protection of a shelter home. The judge’s refusal to implement the Sindh Child Marriage Restraint Act in light of his improper application of Sharia law instead of Pakistani law is not legally grounded and, therefore, raises the concerns over judicial independence and impartiality.

December 19th, 2014 : During the 5th High Court hearing the judge has postponed the next hearing until January 19th, 2015. The hearing had already been postponed 3 times prior to this day.

Kajal herself was not present for unknown reasons. The defence lawyer justified Kajal’s absence by the presumption that the case had been settled (for no particular reason). Except for the lawyer, no one from the perpetrator’s side was present. Kajal is presumed to remain with the perpetrator, although her whereabouts are currently unknown.

December 8th, 2014 : The 4th court hearing is postponed until December 19th. Neither of the parties was allowed to speak in front of the judge.

December 1st, 2014 : Kajal’s parents have to prove that according to Hindu Family Laws, Kajal is still a minor and, therefore, can go home to her family.

Result of 3rd High Court Hearing : The presiding Judge, Salahuddin Panhwar, is unable to take a decision and has removed himself from the case. The case will now be adjudicated by the Judge who presided over the first High Court Hearing, Zafar Ahmed Rajput.

November 20th, 2014 : 2nd High Court hearing in Hyderabad. Kajal’s medical exam shows she is 17, still a minor under the constitution of Pakistan. The judge, Salahuddin Panhwar, chooses to apply Sharia Law instead, according to which Kajal is no longer a minor since she has reached puberty. Kajal stays with her abductor.

November 17th, 2014 : 1st High Court hearing in Hyderabad. Kajal’s parents present legal proof of her age, yet the judge, Zafar Ahmed Rajput, requests a medical exam to verify whether she is a minor. Kajal stays with her abductor.

October 21st, 2014 : Kajal Bheel (12 years old) is abducted from her home in Sindh, Pakistan. Later that day she was forcefully converted and married to one of her abductors, Mr. Muneer Dars (24 years old).

Source : Global Human Rights Defence