A Hindu bride was abducted at gun point and forcibly married to a Muslim man just four days after her wedding.
The girl Kasturi Kohli was married to Rojee Kohli in the village named in Nagarparkar, Tharparkar district, Tuesday. The newly wed couple were sleeping at Rojee’s home in the village named Kothara when armed men belonging to the Khoso clan raided the shanty home Thursday night and abducted the bride at gunpoint.
The groom got a police case registered against the abduction of his bride by Shadi Khoso’s two sons Mohammed Ali Khoso and Ali Nawaz Khoso. But by then it was too late for the Hindu groom: Kasturi already had a new Muslim husband, Mohammed Ali Khoso.
The Muslim cleric who presided over the forced conversion and marriage is Pir Ayub Jan Farooqi, aka Pir Ayub Jan Sirhandi, who is from Samaro town in Umarkot district. Pir Farooqi boasts he has converted thousands of Hindus, mostly girls but some boys too, to Islam.
Pir Farooqi has vowed that he will not rest at ease until each and every Hindu in Umarkot and Tharparkar, the only two districts in Pakistan where Hindus even today form 65 percent of the population, is cleansed of Hindus.
Abduction and forced conversion of Hindu girls in Sindh go unwept and unsung, regrets Raj Kumar, an agricultural engineer and community activist.
There are no safeguards against forced marriage of Hindu women. “According to Hindu marriage bill if any married person may convert, his or her previous relationship becomes null and void automatically,” said Raj Kumar.
Though abductions and forced marriages of Hindu girls in their early teens is quite common, abduction of young Hindu brides and women too take place. “This year alone, I have handled three such cases,” said Shankar Meghwar, a lawyer.
Each year more than 1,000 Hindu and Christian girls are reported to be forcibly converted and married. However, the overwhelming majority of the forced conversion cases go unreported so the actual figure is in the thousands. The worst victims are poorest Hindus in Tharparkar and Umerkot.
When Pakistan, or Land of the Pure, was artificially created by the British in the August 1947 by division of India, the minorities formed 23 percent of the country’s overall population. Thirteen out of 53 members of Pakistan’s first assembly were members of religious minorities.
Religious cleansing of Hindus, Christians and Sikhs have brought down the minority population in Pakistan to less than three percent since the Partition Holocaust.