Ground Report | New Delhi: Srinagar conversion Row; Shahid Nazir Bhatt, who was arrested on June 23 on charges of kidnapping, criminal intimidation and forced conversion of a Sikh woman Manmeet Kaur for marriage, said he would fight legally to get his wife back.
Shahid married Manmeet on June 5 without the knowledge of her parents. It was around the same time that she reportedly converted to Islam and took the name Zoya, ThePrint reported.
The case was registered on a complaint lodged on June 21, a day after Manmeet’s father allegedly ran away from home to be with Shahid. On June 23, Shahid was arrested on charges of kidnapping and criminal intimidation and on charges of forced conversion.
Srinagar ‘conversion’ Row
“When I was in jail, they took away my love, my legally married wife. How can they do this? I was heartbroken when I saw her wedding pictures soon after coming out of jail. I was feeling angry and helpless at the same time,” he said.
“I had a marriage. Manmeet has given a statement in front of the court that he married with my wish. And yet here I am, sitting helpless without my wife, while she is suffering there. He was tricked. Is this justice?” He asked.
The print reached Manmeet’s father Rajinder Singh Bali on the phone, but the two numbers secured by the police were locked.
Addressing a press conference in Srinagar on June 28, Akali Dal leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa alleged that four Sikh women were “forced to convert and married” in Jammu and Kashmir.
According to the report, Shahid will struggle to get her back legally and will not back down. He said that Manmeet had given a statement in the court that she had converted to the religion of her own free will and they had done nikah. “Her parents, however, took her forcibly and then got her married. They tricked her”, Shahid said.
“I never asked him to change his religion. It was his choice. If I had held her at gunpoint, would she have left her house for me? Also, if she was mentally unstable, how would she give a coherent statement before a magistrate? Why would another man marry her?” Shahid said.