External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has sought details from the Indian envoy in Pakistan into the reported abduction of two Hindu teenaged girls and their forcible conversion to Islam on the eve of Holi in Sindh province.
In a social media message on Sunday, the minister said, “I have asked the Indian High Commissioner in Pakistan to send a report on this.”
The incident first was splashed in the social media of Pakistan which showed a grieving father protesting in a police station at Dharki town of Ghotki district in Sindh asking for the release of his two daughters taken away by goons during the Holi.
According to available reports , two minor Hindu sisters were allegedly kidnapped and forcibly married after being converted to Islam in Pakistan's Sindh province, triggering protests by the minority community.
The two girls, 13-year-old Raveena and 15-year-old Reena, were allegedly kidnapped by a group of "influential" men from their home in Ghotki district on the eve of Holi. Soon after the kidnapping, a video went viral in which a cleric was purportedly shown soleminising the Nikah (marriage) of the two girls.
Sanjesh Dhanja, President of Pakistan Hindu Sewa Welfare Trust, an NGO, called on Prime Minister Khan to take note of the incident and prove to everyone that minorities were indeed safe and secure in Pakistan.
The truth is minorities suffer from different sorts of persecution and the problem of young Hindu girls being kidnapped at gunpoint and forced to convert to Islam or get married to much older men is widespread in Sindh, he said.
Dhanja said the Hindu community had staged several sit-ins in Ghotki district after which police reluctantly registered FIR against the accused persons.
The Hindu community leaders have claimed that the accused belonged to the Kohbar and Malik tribes in the area. Following the incident, an FIR was filed by the girls' brother, alleging that their father had an altercation with the accused some time ago and on the eve of Holi they armed with pistols forcibly entered their home and took the sisters away.
A Pakistan Muslim League-Functional MPA Nand Kumar Goklani, who had initially moved a bill against forced conversions, urged the government to get the law passed immediately.
We demand the government to take up my bill and get it passed without any delay, he said.
Goklani said: "The fact that the two girls were underage confirmed it was a crime and they couldn't show free will on getting married or conversion to Islam". "One of the accused persons has been arrested, while the police were conducting raids to arrest the others," a senior police official of Ghotki district said.
(With inputs from PTI)