Indian Sikh woman on pilgrimage to Pakistan converts to Islam, marries Lahore-based man

A 31-year-old Sikh woman Kiran Bala from Hoshiarpur in Punjab has allegedly converted to Islam and married a Lahore-based man after vanishing on a pilgrimage in Pakistan. She had gone to attend the Baisakhi festival there as part of a Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) Sikh delegation.

Indian Sikh woman on pilgrimage to Pakistan converts to Islam, marries Lahore-based man

Hoshiarpur (Punjab): A 31-year-old Sikh woman Kiran Bala from Hoshiarpur in Punjab has allegedly converted to Islam and married a Lahore-based man after missing on a pilgrimage in Pakistan. She had gone to attend the Baisakhi festival there as part of a Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) Sikh delegation.

Kiran Bala's father-in-law, who suspects that she might have fallen into the hands of Pakistani spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), sought the Centre and Punjab government's intervention in the matter. According to Tarsem, Kiran Bala called him up on April 16 and announced that she had married Mohammad Azam, a man from Lahore, after converting to Islam and had taken a new name Amna Bibi.

"My daughter-in-law called and said that she has converted to Islam and got re-married in Pakistan. I want to request the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Punjab Captain (retd) Amarinder Singh to take her out of this situation. I suspect she might have fallen into the hands of ISI," said Tarsem Singh, a Sikh religious preacher in village in Garhshankar.

He added that Kiran was in a happy mood when he dropped her in Amritsar on April 10 for the pilgrimage to Pakistan. Around 1,700 Indian pilgrims had gone to Pakistan to visit Sikh shrines, including Panja Sahib Gurdwara near Lahore and Nankana Sahib - the birthplace of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak, on the occasion of Baisakhi on April 13.

Police officials claim that Bala and Azam were Facebook friends. She reportedly got in touch with the Pakistan Foreign Office and argued that her visa be extended as she had married Azam. He visa expires on April 21.

Bala, 31, a widow, is the mother of three. She was living with her in-laws at their village house in Garhshankar sub-division of Punjab, around 90 km from Chandigarh.

Tarsem's son Narinder Singh had died in an accident in 2013. Now, he is worried about his three grandchildren whose future is in limbo with this new development.

(With inputs from ANI)

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