Hindu girl forced conversion spark protest in Pak

Last Updated: Friday, March 2, 2012 - 16:52

Lahore: A 19-year-old Hindu girl`s abduction
and her "forced" conversion to Islam in Pakistan`s southern
Sindh province triggered a protest by members of various
minority communities in front of the Lahore Press Club.

Dozens of members of minority communities joined the
protest yesterday to demand action by authorities in the case
of Rinkle Kumari, who they alleged was kidnapped by the son of
a Parliamentarian from Ghotki district of Sindh.

A large number of relatives of the girl, who belongs to
Mirpur Mathelo in Ghotki district, too joined the protest.
They claimed they were getting threats from the
kidnappers and influential Muslims of the area.

Rinkle`s relatives said they had taken refuge in a
gurdwara in Lahore after these threats.

The protesters shouted slogans against the kidnappers and
urged the PPP government in Sindh to trace Rinkle, who they
said had given a statement in court that she was unwilling to
convert to Islam and wanted to live with her parents.

Rinkle`s relatives alleged Abdul Haq alias Mian Mitthu, a
member of the National Assembly or lower house of Parliament,
was backing the kidnappers. They further claimed that Haq had
pressurised the local magistrate to give a ruling in favour of
the abductors and ignore the written testimony of Rinkle.

The girl`s father, Nand Lal, is a teacher at the
Government Primary School at Yorlund in Ghotki district.
He told the Daily Times that Mian Aslam, the son of the
local Parliamentarian, and his friend Naveed Shah kidnapped
his daughter from his house last Friday.

Rinkle had passed the matriculation examination and
arrangements had been made for her marriage, he said.
Initially, the police station in Mirpur Mathelo refused
to register a case against the kidnappers though an FIR was
lodged following a protest by Rinkle`s relatives.

Rinkle and one of the alleged kidnappers, Naveed Shah,
were produced later before Magistrate Hassan Ali Kalwar.

Rinkle denied that she wanted to convert to Islam and
said she wanted to live with her parents but the judge sent
her to a women`s home and Shah was handed over to police on a
one-day remand, Nand Lal said.

Mirpur Mathelo police, which is under "influence" of the
Parliamentarian, presented Rinkle before a magistrate on
Monday, Nand Lal said. "The magistrate immediately handed over
the girl to Haq`s men, without asking the parents to appear
before the court," he added.

He said a large number of armed men were standing outside
the court to bar Rinkle`s family from entering the room.
Nand Lal said Haq and his "political and criminal allies"
were forcing him to accept the magistrate`s decision and had
threatened to kill him and his family if he tried to protest.

Nand Lal said these threats had forced him to flee Sindh.
"I could not hold a protest there, that is why I am
raising my voice here," he said.

PTI



First Published: Friday, March 2, 2012 - 16:52

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