Pakistan Places 2 Hindu Girls In Protection After Alleged Forced Conversion

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Islamabad: A Pakistani high court today ordered official protection for the two Hindu girls as authorities widen their probe to ascertain if they were abducted, forcibly converted and married.

The two girls were allegedly kidnapped by a group of men from their home in Ghotki district in Sindh on the eve of Holi. Soon after the kidnapping, a video went viral in which a cleric was shown soleminising the Nikah (marriage) of the two girls, triggering a nationwide outrage.

The Islamabad High Court issued the order today after the petition was filed by the girls and their husbands to seek protection from adverse action.

Chief Justice Athar Minallah heard the case about controversy over conversion of the two Hindu girls from Ghotki area of Sindh province and their marriage to Muslim men.

The judge handed over their custody to Deputy Commissioner Islamabad and Director General Human Rights.

He said a woman Superintendent Police should be deputed with the sisters to ensure their safety.

The court directed authorities that an investigation report about their case should be presented before it by April 2 when it will issue further directions.

On March 20, the girls’ family lodged a First Information Report against their alleged forced conversion to Islam.

Soon after, India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Pakistan’s Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry had a Twitter spat over the reported abduction. Ms Swaraj tweeted that she had asked the Indian High Commissioner in Pakistan to send a report on the matter. To this, Mr Hussain said it is an “internal issue” of Pakistan. Ms Swaraj immediately shot back that her tweet was making the Pakistan minister “jittery”.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan recently ordered a probe into the reports on the two girls.

The police have arrested the cleric who solemnised the wedding along with other people, including a senior member of the Sunni Tehreek Pakistan group, for their alleged involvement in the girls’ forceful conversion to Islam.