Two minor Hindu cousin sisters aged 11 and 13 were abducted from their home in Pakistan in the pre-dawn hours of September 24. Nisha (11) d/o Mavji Ashok Kohli & Heena (13) d/o Ramji Ashok Kohli were abducted by 8 Muslim men – Hajan Abdullah, Ejhas, Sanaullah, Mustafa, Ayub Khaskeli & others – from Tando Ghulam Ali, Badin district of Sindh province as per human rights activist Mahesh Vasu.
Nisha was forcibly converted on September 26 and illegally married to Sanaullah Dahokar, while Heena was reportedly converted on October 14 and illegally married to Mustafa Dahokar. As per the conversion certificates, both were forcibly converted at Sufi Peer Jaan Sarhandi Dargah at Samaro, Sindh.
Child marriage of anyone below 18 is banned in Sindh, but the law is routinely flouted by Islamist men who know they have the backing of powerful religious groups and administration officials. It is estimated that at least 1000 Hindu and other minority girls are abducted every year in Sindh for rape, forced conversion and marriages where they are sexually exploited and either discarded after few years or pushed into the flesh trade.
Sufi dargahs like Bharchundi Sharif in Ghotki district run by the notorious cleric-politician Mian Abdul Haq aka Mian Mithoo and the Sarhandi Dargah in Samaro, Umerkot district run by Pir Mohammad Ayub Jan Sarhandi are centers of such forced conversions – it is alleged that girls taken there are also raped, video-graphed, assaulted and tutored on what statement to give to magistrates if their case ever reaches court.
The forced conversion & illegal marriage of Nisha was reported on local news channel Mehran TV. The forced conversion & illegal marriage of Heena went unreported but has been going viral on social media since Oct 14.
The family approached the local police station including the SSP and Hyderabad court but to no avail. Police neglected and failed to file an FIR despite repeated requests by the family members, stated Mahesh Vasu. It was only on November 5 that an FIR under Sindh’s Child Marriage Restraint Act 2013 was finally lodged due to persistent efforts of Pakistani Hindu social activists like Faqir Shiva Kacchi, Mansingh Thakur, Dr. Shyamlal Kachhi, and Raja Hamir Singh Thakur.
However, police has still not acted and recovered the minor Hindu sisters. Recently, the case of Chanda Maharaj (14) had gone viral – she was recovered around 3 months after her abduction and video of her tearful reunion with her mother and sisters had moved the entire world. But despite a medical age determination test showing that she is underage, a Sindh court has continued to keep her in a government-run ‘shelter home’ and refused to send Chanda back to her parents. Her abductor was also reportedly granted pre-arrest bail.
(This story has been reproduced here with permission from Hindu Post.)