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Pakistan's HR Commission alarm over 'forced conversion' of Hindu girls in Sindh

Islamabad, Sun, 11 Mar 2012 ANI

Islamabad, Mar 11 (ANI): The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on Saturday expressed its concern over reports of forced conversion and marriage of Hindu girls in Sindh, 'on average 25 cases a month', and urged the authorities concerned to ensure protection to the minorities.


HRCP vice chairperson Amarnath Motumal and council members Professor Badar Soomro, Inder Ahuja and Asad Iqbal Butt said that the culprits were benefiting from loopholes in the existing laws.


They called for enactment of new comprehensive laws in order to restore the sense of security in the community.


Relatives of four girls who were allegedly kidnapped recently - Rinkle Kumari, Dr Lata Kumari, Asha Mohandas and Bharti Naraindas - also appeared before the media and complained that the police extended to them no help while the subordinate judiciary did not appear helpful either.


"The culprits are well-armed and enjoy the support of influential religious people," The Dawn quoted them, as saying.


The HRCP activists stressed that the police should register an FIR as soon as the parents or relatives of kidnap victims approached them with a complaint.


"If a kidnapped adult girl is recovered and produced in court, she should be sent to Darul Amman immediately for a period equal to her captivity, or for at least one month, before she is asked to record her first statement. Then she should be asked to decide whether she wants to go with her parents/relatives or with alleged kidnapper/s," they said.


However, they added, if the kidnapped girl was a minor, she should immediately be reunited with her parents.


The HRCP activists said that there could be no objection if anyone embraced Islam of their own accord, but such a person should be at liberty to meet his or her parents and satisfy them that it was not a forced decision.


"But in the case of the four girls, they were not allowed to meet their parents anymore and this proves that they are under pressure," they added.


Talking about the growing menace of kidnappings, forced marriages and forced conversions, they said that Hindus now tended to marry off their girls as soon as they reached adulthood or migrate to some other country. (ANI)


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