Sikh girl goes missing from house in Hassanabdal

Updated 20 Sep 2020

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The day after the girl went missing she reportedly sent a WhatsApp message to her father telling him that she had contracted a marriage of her own will and converted to Islam, said DSP Hassan.  — File photo
The day after the girl went missing she reportedly sent a WhatsApp message to her father telling him that she had contracted a marriage of her own will and converted to Islam, said DSP Hassan. — File photo

TAXILA: A young Sikh woman of Hassanabdal has allegedly run away with a Muslim man and may have married him after converting to Islam, sources said on Saturday.

The 22-year-old daughter of a Sikh man who runs a shop in Hassanabdal stepped out of her house on the pretext of taking the trash outside the other day, but never returned.

DSP Raja Fayyaz-ul-Hassan, the sub-divisional police officer, said a case had been registered by Hassanabdal police against an “unknown abductor” on the complaint of the girl’s father under Section 365-B of the Pakistan Penal Code, for kidnapping, abducting or inducing a woman to marry, and launched a hunt for the missing girl.

The day after she went missing she reportedly sent a WhatsApp message to her father telling him that she had contracted a marriage of her own will and converted to Islam, said DSP Hassan.

He said several police teams were looking for the girl so that she could be produced before a court of law and her statement recorded.

Case registered against ‘unknown abductor’

When contacted, General Secretary of the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee Sardar Ameer Singh confirmed that the girl had gone missing from her father’s house located near the Gurdwara Punja Sahib in Hassanabdal.

Mr Singh said that her father and uncle met federal Minister for Religious Affairs Noorul Haq Qadri on Friday, in the presence of Punjab’s Minister for Minority Affairs Ijaz Alam Augustine and chairman of the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) Dr Aamir Ahmad, and apprised him of disappearance of the girl.

He said the federal and provincial ministers had assured the girl’s father and uncle that she would be recovered soon.

In response to a question, Mr Singh said: “At the moment, it is premature to confirm that the girl has converted to another religion. This can only be confirmed once the girl is found and her statement is recorded.”

He said the entire Sikh community was supporting the aggrieved family.

In response to another question, Mr Singh said his organisation was in contact with the district police officer of Attock for the latest updates on the situation.

He termed some reports run by the Indian media on the matter “baseless and unwanted”.

He pointed out that as per the FIR she had left her house on her own and the whole nation could not be blamed for an individual’s act.

Sub-Inspector Tahir Iqbal, the spokesman for district police, said a case was registered against an “unknown abductor” immediately after the girl’s father had filed a complaint. So there was no delay in the registration of the case.

Published in Dawn, September 20th, 2020