PDSN, PILER condemn forcible conversion of Hindu girl in Daharki

karachi_map11Staff Reporter

Thursday, November 06, 2014 – Karachi—Pakistan Dalit Solidarity Network (PDSN) and Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER) had condemned the abduction and then forcible conversion of a 12-year old Hindu girl Anjali Meghwar in Daharki in district Ghokti. They demanded arrest of the culprits including the religious clerics, who performed marriage of the minor girl.

In a joint statement, the PDSN Coordinators Dr Sono Khangharani and Zulfiqar Shah and PILER’s Chief Executive Karamat Ali deplored that Police were not arresting the accused in the kidnapping case and the local court had sent the girl to a private shelter home in Karachi despite she stated in the court room that she wanted to go with her parents.

According to details, a minor Dalit Hindu girl name Anjali Bai, daughter of Kundan Menghwar has been kidnapped, then forcibly converted into Islam and falsely married with one of his alleged kidnapper under the patronage of Bhurchunddi Sharif Dargah in district Ghotki on Oct 30, 2014. Anjali was allegedly abducted from her parent’s home at Mohalla Maswahan in Dharkai by some local influential persons.

This is the worst form of extremism against Hindu Dalits in Sindh, they stated. Unfortunately, incidences against minorities are increasing day by day but there is no mechanism to deal with such issues, they stated. Few days back on Oct 24 another young girl Kajal Bheel, daughter of Mohan Laal Bheel was also abducted from her home at Udero Laal town in the district of Matiari in Sindh, Pakistan. Many such incidents have been reported in other parts of Sindh in recent months.

Anjali Bai belonged to the same city of Daharki where 2 years back another 17-year old Rinkle Kumari was abducted and then converted. The irony was that Anjali was just 12 year old and she could not decide to get married and change her religion. The Constitution and laws in Pakistan did not allow child marriages before the age of 18. The Constitution of Pakistan, under its Article 36 provided safeguard to the minorities, they argued.

Anjali’s school leaving and birth certificates confirmed that she was born in 2002; therefore her marriage was illegal under the recently passed Sindh Child Marriage Restraint Bill, 2013. Hence the criminal case should be lodged against the religious clerics, who performed Nikah/marriage of Anjali. Unfortunately, the civil judge of Daharki Civil Court had sent Anjali to Karachi at a shelter home instead of sending her with parent. She will be produced before the court again. However, her parents showed concern that in the meantime she would be forced to change her mind. The Hindus of Daharki had observed a shutter-down strike, while protests were being carried out in other cities of Sindh to condemn the incident, they informed.

Source: Pakistan Observer