KARACHI: A 24-year-old Hindu girl was allegedly abducted by armed assailants from her wedding venue in Pakistan's Sindh province and forcefully converted to Islam before being married off to a Muslim man, community members said, in the latest such incident in the country.
Sindh Minister for Minorities Affairs, Hari Ram Kishori, on Tuesday took cognisance of the incident, which took place last week in Hala town of Matiari district in Sindh province, and asked for a police report.
The All Pakistan Hindu Council (APHC) on Sunday said Bharti Bai was abducted from her wedding ceremony last week and then married off to a Muslim man, named Shahruk Gul, after forcibly converting her to Islam. Bharti is of 24 years, her father Kishore Das said.
According to local media reports, the girl was abducted by armed men, some of whom were in police uniforms.
Meanwhile, Gul has posted pictures of documents on social media showing that Bharti was converted to Islam in December 2019 and had taken the name Bushra.
According to documents, her conversion took place at the Jamiat-ul-Uloom Islamia in Banori town. Police are investigating whether the girl travelled to Karachi around the dates mentioned in the certificate.
Hindus, which comprised approximately 2 per cent of Pakistan's population, are mainly concentrated in Sindh province. There have been periodic reports of their forced conversion to Islam.
Earlier this month, a 15-year-old Hindu girl was allegedly abducted from Jacobabad district in Sindh and forcibly converted to Islam and married to a Muslim man.
The girl was later sent to a women protection centre following a court order. In a similar incident, two Hindu minor girls were reportedly abducted from a village in Sindh province on January 14.
India has expressed its concern over the abduction of minor Hindu girls in Pakistan. A senior official of the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi was summoned on January 17 to lodge a strong protest over the recent cases of abduction of minor girls belonging to the Hindu community in Pakistan.