At a time when the government is defending the Citizenship (Amendment) Act by citing persecution of religious minorities in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, New Delhi summoned a senior official from the Pakistan High Commission on Tuesday to register its protest against the alleged abduction of a Pakistani Hindu woman midway through her wedding in Sindh province two days ago, sources said.
The 24-year-old was allegedly abducted by residents with the help of local police personnel on Saturday. According to sources, she was married off to a Pakistani man by the time her family members managed to lodge a complaint.
The All Pakistan Hindu Council said that the woman, Bharti Bai, was abducted from her wedding by a gang of armed men and married off to one Shahruk Gul after being forcibly converted to Islam. However, Shahruk has posted documents on social media saying that Bharti had changed her faith in December and adopted the name “Bushra”.
The Indian government asked the Pakistan government to expedite the probe and bring the perpetrators to justice. It also said that the Imran Khan government was duty bound to ensure that the country’s minorities, which includes Hindus, are protected and provided for.
Hindus, who comprise approximately 2 per cent of Pakistan’s population, are mainly concentrated in Sindh province.
Earlier this month, a 15-year-old Hindu girl was allegedly abducted from Jacobabad district in Sindh province and forcibly converted to Islam before being married off to a Muslim man. Two other abductions were reported from a village in the same region on January 14.
India had also lodged a separate protest with the diplomat regarding the desecration of the Mata Rani Bhatiyani temple in Sindh province’s Tharparkar district on Sunday.
According to police, four suspects entered the temple located in Chachro area early in the morning and vandalised idols and religious texts kept inside. The local station house officer called it a “unique incident”, claiming that Hindus and Muslims in the area have co-existed in harmony for decades.
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