A teenage Hindu girl was allegedly kidnapped from her residence in Sindh's Badin district by armed men earlier this month, her father said on Tuesday, but a man came forward with the claim that she was now his wife after converting to Islam.
A first information report (FIR) of the case was registered at Badin's Pangrio police station on Tuesday after the girl's father filed a complaint claiming that his 14-year-old daughter was abducted from their house by four armed men — three of whom were unknown — on March 17.
The complainant, a member of the Hindu community in Jam Khan Pitafi village, stated that his daughter's life was in great danger and demanded of the authorities to take immediate action to recover the "abducted" girl.
However, one of the four suspects, who purported to be the girl's husband, sent documents to local journalists to show that he had married the girl after she allegedly embraced Islam at the hands of Pir Jan Agha Khan Sarhandi on March 17 at his seminary in Samaro town. Denying her father's claim that she was a minor, the man puporting to be her husband claimed that the girl was 19 years old.
The man, who hails from Pithoro town of Umerkot district, also said that his alleged wife and himself had submitted an application seeking protection to a court in Sanghar.
An official at the Pangrio police station, Kando Rebari, told DawnNewsTV that after registering the case on kidnapping charges, police had started an investigation into the matter.
Commenting on the case, rights activist Mukesh Meghwar alleged that Hindu girls were being kidnapped and forced to convert under a "deep-seated" conspiracy. He demanded early recovery of the girl allegedly abducted in Badin as well as other girls in similar situations.
The case has emerged days after the federal government took notice of the alleged forced conversion and underage marriages of two teenage girls in Ghotki, after two separate videos started doing rounds on social media. The father and brother of the girls in videos circulating on social media said that the two sisters were abducted and forced into changing their religion from Hinduism to Islam. However, a separate video of the girls went viral, in which they said that they accepted Islam of their own free will.
Earlier today the Islamabad High Court while hearing a petition filed by the two Ghotki sisters and their alleged spouses ordered the state to take over custody of the girls and ensure their safety till their case is decided.
On Monday, police had detained at least seven people, including a Nikah Khwan (marriage officiator), suspected of involvement in the alleged abductions, forced conversions from Hinduism to Islam, and underage marriages of the two sisters.