A Hindu girl, who was allegedly abducted in broad daylight two months back from Pakistan's Hyderabad city and was forcibly converted to Islam and married to a Muslim man, was on Thursday sent to a safe home by a court.
The court initially had not allowed the girl to go with her parents and admitted the marriage certificate produced by her husband's lawyer but after her videos went viral on social media where she was seen crying and clinging to her mother after the court ruling, the judge ordered that she should be sent to a safe home and can meet her parents.
The court ordered that her medical examination should also be conducted.
The girl, who worked in a mill with her elder sister, was returning home on August 12 when four men allegedly abducted her from Fateh Chowk in Hyderabad.
According to her parents and their lawyer, the girl was forcibly converted to Islam and married to one of the kidnappers.
Though her parents rushed to the police station and insisted she would be forcibly converted and married off despite being underage, the police did not file a case until September after which police and human right officials recovered her from Balochistan province and she was brought back to Hyderabad and kept in a shelter home as her husband filed a case in court against her parents.
He also submitted a medical and marriage certificate in court, which claimed the girl was aged 19. But her parents told the court on Thursday that she was a minor and the police was not cooperating with them.
The court initially admitted the marriage certificate but after outrage on the social media when videos of the girl seen crying and hugging her mother inside the court were circulated, the judge ordered she be sent to a safe home and her medical examination be held.
He also refrained the alleged husband from having any contact with the girl or her family until the medical report was confirmed.
The abduction and forcible conversion of young Hindu girls have become a major problem in the interior of Sindh province which has a large Hindu population in Thar, Umerkot, Mirpurkhas, Ghotki and Khairpur areas. Most of the Hindu community members are labourers.
On July 16, 2019, the issue of abducting and forcibly converting Hindu girls in various districts of Sindh province was taken up in the Sindh Assembly, where a resolution was debated and unanimously passed after it was modified over objections of certain lawmakers that it should not be restricted to Hindu girls only.
But the bill which criminalised forcible religious conversions was later rejected in the assembly. A similar bill was again proposed but rejected last year.