Karachi: A court here has barred a Pakistani Hindu girl from living with her Muslim 'husband' due to a controversy over her real age and alleged forced conversion.
Anjali Kumari Meghwar, who is now named Salma and is said to have converted to Islam after falling in love with Muhammad Baksh Anwar Siyal, was disallowed by the court to go with her husband or her parents and instead sent to a women's shelter home.
"There is confusion over her age and the court has ordered a medical examination. Her husband in court documents has shown her age as 18 while her parents have shown her age as 13," a Sindh High Court official said.
The court instructions came to light when its final order was released yesterday after a division bench had on Wednesday disposed of the petitions of Anjali's father, Kundandas Meghwar, against her forced conversion and her mother-in-law, Mai Bashiran, who sought quashing of the kidnapping case against her son.
Anjali had appeared before the court on Wednesday and was allowed to meet her husband and parents separately.
The court has now ordered a magistrate to meet the girl and record her statement to find out if she was forcibly converted.
Anjali's father had asked the court to declare that she was an underage person only 13 years old and was abducted and forced to convert to Islam. However, the young girl told the judges that she embraced Islam and married Siyal of her own volition.
The Pakistani Hindu community has held several protests while minority lawmakers have also raised the issue in parliament of forced conversion and marriages of Hindu girls particularly in interior Sindh areas.