It has happened once again.
A young Hindu girl has been abducted in Pakistan by a Muslim man (or group of men), presumably with the intention of forcibly converting her to Islam and marrying her off to some Muslim man. This is happening with sickening regularity.
The recent case of Reena-Raveena (two sisters who met this fate) has hardly been solved when we hear of the abduction of Payal Devi, teenage daughter of Manghu Mal Kohistani, which was reported by the Pakistani Hindu Counsil on its website on July 3, 2019.
Payal was on her way to her tuition lessons, taught by the abductor Kamran Soomro, when she disappeared. When she did not return home for several hours, the worried parents started to make inquiries, when they learned that even the teacher was missing. It is presumed that he is the abductor.
The following picture, courtesy Pak Hindu Council, shows Payal, alongside her abductor Kamran.
There is a petition on change.org to support Payal’s recovery at the earliest. We request readers to sign the petition. Over 6000 people have signed the petition thus far.
The petition also sheds light on the criminal acquiescence of the Pakistani State in this systematic persecution of a truly peaceful, law-abiding minority –
“The Sindh Criminal Law (Protection of Minorities)Bill has failed to make into law. The Bill was effectively blocked by the mobilization of the Islamist groups and parties. A group of religious scholars, including the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) termed the bill against the basic principles of Islam. Religious parties in Karachi launched a campaign against the bill in order to pressurize the Sindh government into repealing it. The JamaatI-Islami (JI) argued that there could be no age limit on people converting to Islam. Religious Parties threatened to lay siege to the Sindh Assembly if the legislature did not repeal the bill. Subsequently the bill was shelved and remains so to this day literally paving way for more forced conversions.
Both the lower and higher courts of Pakistan have failed to follow proper procedures in cases that involve accusations of forced marriage and forced conversions. The judiciary is often subject to fear of reprisal from extremist elements, in other cases the judicial officers’ personal beliefs influence them into accepting the claims made that the woman/girl converted on her own free will. There is often no investigation into the circumstances under which the conversion takes place and the age of the girl is often ignored. The girl/woman involved is largely left in the custody of her kidnapper throughout the trial process, or in state-run shelter homes where she is subject to further threats to force her into denying her abduction and rape and claiming that the conversion was willing. Though it is illegal to marry underage girls, the abductors often find a way around this by paying for forged medical reports to “prove” the girls are older.
The Islamabad High Court, for instance, declared in April 2019 that it was within the law for Hindu sisters Reena and Raveena (aged 15 & 13, kidnapped from their home in Ghotki district in Sindh on the eve of Holi) to convert to Islam and stay with their husbands. It was also ordered that the interior minister must ensure the adopted families of the two girls were protected from any legal action issued by their Hindu parents. Sadly several Pakistani judges have in the past prohibited girls who have converted to Islam from being returned to their “infidel” parents.”
Finally, the report at Hinduexistence.org has a picture of the FIR filed (in urdu). The police have taken 3 brothers of the accused into custody as of this time. We hope and pray for the quick and safe recovery of our Hindu daughter Payal.
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