A court in Sindh province in Pakistan has sent a Hindu girl to a child protection center in the case of alleged forcible conversion.
The girl has said in her statement in front of the court that she has changed her religion without any pressure from her will. On the other hand, the girl’s father alleges that some people had taken her (the girl), after which she has been forced to convert.
The girl was produced in the court of Civil Judge Munawar Pirzada of Tangwani, Tehsil of Kashmarkot, North Sindh with police protection from the shelter home on Wednesday, where the court recorded the girl’s statement.
The girl says that she has changed her religion by reaching the Dargah Bharchondi on her own and now her name is Umme Hina. The girl has also said in her statement that there was no pressure on her to change religion.
Advocate Abdul Ghani Bijrani, on behalf of the girl’s parents, requested the court that the girl is a minor. Advocate Abdul Ghani has also requested the court to set up a medical board to find out whether the girl has been raped.
Remember that Sindh is prohibited from marrying under 18 years of age. If someone marries under the age of 18 or helps in getting married, a case can be filed against him.
Advocate Abdul Ghani Bijrani has alleged that the Nikahnama (marriage certificate) is not being presented due to the Sindh Child Marriage Restaurant Act (Prevention of Child Marriage Act). Therefore, they have requested the formation of a medical board.
A written request also states that the case should be transferred to the Anti-Terrorism Court. According to the lawyer of this case, Abdul Ghani Bijrani, the crime of kidnapping of minors comes under Section 364 of ATA. Therefore, by including it in the FIR, the case should be conducted in an anti-terrorism court.
The lawyer also said that the girl cannot live with non-maharams (those people whose curtain is necessary). Therefore, she should be handed over to her parents or transferred to the children’s shelter home, after which the court has ordered the girl to be shifted to Sukkur shelter home.
Advocate Saeed Ahmed Bijrani appeared on behalf of Pir of Bharchondi, who later told reporters that the court met the girl and her parents in private, after which the statement was recorded. He has claimed that the girl said that she wants to go to Pir of Bharondi, so that she can continue her Islamic education.
According to advocate Saeed Ahmed, he has also requested that the girl should be sent to the dargah of Bharchandi. Because it is an ‘important Islamic institution’. But the court has ordered that the girl will be sent to the child protection center till the police investigation is completed.