India Summons Pakistan Mission Officials Over Abduction, Conversion Of Hindu Woman In Sindh
The woman, Bharti Bai was to be married to a Hindu man when she was abducted by a group of men from the marriage ceremony venue under the supervision of the police officials.
India summoned a senior Pakistan High Commission official on January 28 and expressed concern over the abduction, and forced conversion of a Hindu girl in Sindh province, the official sources said on Tuesday.
"India summoned a senior official from the Pakistan High Commission and made a strong demarche against the abduction of a girl from Hindu minority from her marriage ceremony on January 25, with the help of local police in Hala city of Sindh province," an official source said.
The woman, Bharti Bai, was to be married to a Hindu man when she was abducted by a group of men from the marriage ceremony venue, The Hindu reported.
According to the report, the local police authorities, instead of taking action aided the perpetrators in the incident. Bharti's father, Kishore Das, described that it was during his daughter's marriage ceremony when the kidnapper, Shah Rukh Gul, barged in with several men along with police officers and abducted Bharti.
Later, a picture of Bharti, along with documents of her conversion to Islam and marriage to Shah Rukh Gul, was circulated on social media which stated that Bharti had converted to Islam on December 1, 2019.
According to the documents of her conversion, Bharti was converted one month prior to the incident and was renamed as 'Bushra' after conversion. However, the authenticity of the documents is not confirmed.
Bharti's family has demanded her safe return. However, the issue has raised some serious concerns amongst the Hindu community in Pakistan.
According to a report titled "Forced Conversion Of Minority Girls And Women In Pakistan" submitted to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, by the World Sindhi Congress, "forced conversions to occur when some physical, emotional and psychological violence is used to ensure a religious conversion." The victims of forced conversion are "abducted and forced to choose between bearing the abuses and converting." Forced conversions and marriages are also used to conceal human trafficking and sexual abuse.
Every year, about 1,000 non-Muslim girls are forcibly converted to Islam in Pakistan. In the recent past, the number of reported cases of non-Muslim girls being forced to convert and marry Muslim men has increased.