Protests erupt in Pakistan over conversion of Hindu girls

Lahore: Protests erupted here on Saturday over the forced conversion of two Hindu girls who were allegedly abducted from their home in the Sindh province on the eve of Holi on March 20.

“We are working for the abolishing of religious extremism in Pakistan. Hindu girls are abducted and forcibly converted for marriage purpose. The cases are increasing day by day. We are protesting in front of the Punjab assembly. To stop this practice legal framework has to be strengthened and new laws have to be made. The criminals should be apprehended,” Rawadari Tehreek chairman Samson Salamat said.

The protesters shouted slogans against the conversion practice and held posters stating ‘Stop Violence against Religious Minorities’ and ‘We want laws against forced conversions’.

The two Hindu girls were allegedly abducted from their home in Daharki taluka of Ghotki district in Sindh province on the eve of Holi and converted. The incident came to light after the girls’ father and brother revealed the details in videos that went viral on social media. In a separate video, however, the girls claimed that they accepted Islam out of their own free will.

The Sindh police on Friday informed that the two men were already married and had children from their previous marriages.

Geo News quoted Tufail Bhutto, the station house officer (SHO) of the Daharki police station in Sindh province, as saying that the wives and children of the both accused, Safdar Khobar and
Barkat Malik, have left them after learning of their second marriages.

While Khobar has three daughters and a son, Malik is the father of three daughters, the police noted.

Police on Monday detained at least seven people, including a ‘nikah khwan’ (marriage officiator), allegedly involved in the case.

India sought suitable remedial action by the Pakistan government to protect and promote safety, security, and welfare of its own citizens, especially from the minority communities. India had shared its concerns through an official note to the Pakistan Foreign Office over the incident.