India tells Pakistan to act on forced conversions

New Delhi, Sep 1, 2019-

With the latest case of a Hindu girl’s abduction and forced conversion to Islam coming to light in Pakistan, India on Sunday said that it has conveyed to Islamabad the strong condemnation of such incidents by the civil society and the people of India and has asked the neighbouring country to take “immediate remedial action”.

The spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, Raveesh Kumar, said in a tweet that the civil society and the people of India have strongly condemned the recent deplorable incidents of forced abduction, conversion and marriage of “two Sikh girls in Pakistan”.

“We have reflected these strong concerns with Pakistan and have asked for immediate remedial action,” Kumar tweeted.

The MEA response came even as protests were held outside the Pakistan High Commission here by a large gathering of Sikhs and others, demanding that Islamabad take action in the matter.

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MLA from Delhi, Manjinder Singh Sirsa, who has written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah about the Sikh girl’s forced abduction, conversion and marriage to a Muslim man in Nankana Sahib, Pakistan, said that he has learnt about another Hindu girl, Reno Kumari, from Rohri town in Sindh province of Pakistan, being abducted.

“I have been given information about another Hindu girl who was kidnapped from Rohari city of Pakistan Reno kumari D/o Inderjeet Kumar from Rohari is missing from IBA Sukker. We are very concerned about the safety of Hindu and Sikh girls in Pakistan,” Sirsa tweeted tagging the Pakistan government.

Sirsa said he has met Amit Shah and has apprised him of the abduction and forced conversion of a minor Sikh girl in Pakistan.

“I have met @AmitShah Ji and apprised him about the abduction and forced conversion of a minor Sikh girl in Pakistan. I have urged him to take up this matter with @pid_gov & help in safe return of the girl. He has assured me of maximum efforts for the daughter from Nankana SahibA@ImranKhanPTI,” he posted on twitter.

Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal also expressed shock over the incident.

“Shocked to know after abduction & forced conversion of Sikh girl in Nankana Sahib, a Hindu girl has been forcibly converted to Islam in Pakistan. Urge External Affairs min @DrSJaishankar Aji to raise issue of ethnic cleansing of Sikhs & Hindus in Pak in UN Human Rights Council,” she tweeted.

Earlier, a girl named Jagjit Kaur, daughter of a Sikh granthi from Nankana Sahib, was forcibly abducted and warned that unless she converted to Islam, her brother and father would be killed. She is now known as Ayesha and is married to a Muslim man.

On Saturday, the girl’s family members denied that she has been returned to them, terming it as fake news.

The girl’s family has appealed to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa for justice, saying “they are prepared to go to lengths” to ensure her return.

In a video doing the rounds on Twitter, the girl’s brother Dasvinder Singh said that a video claiming that his sister has been reunited with the family was fake.

The MEA had earlier said that it has received a number of representations from various quarters of civil society and members of Sikh religious bodies about the incident in Pakistan.

According to the FIR filed by the girl’s family, eight men had barged into their house in Nankana Sahib on August 28 and taken away Jagjit Kaur at gunpoint.  (Agency)

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