As the apex court ordered the provincial police chief to recover women of the Hindu community, one of the women named in the petition turned up at the Sindh High Court Sukkur bench and said she was neither abducted, nor forcibly converted.
The apex court was hearing a petition filed by the Pakistan Hindu Council over abduction and forceful conversion of girls from their community.
Dr Ramesh Kumar, patron-in-chief of the Pakistan Hindu Council, informed the court that three women of the Hindu community – Rinkle Kumari from Mirpur Mathelo, Dr Lata from Jaccobabad, and Poja Devi from Larkana – have been abducted recently.
The whole community feels insecure as a result of this, and have lodged a protest in Karachi, Kumar said.
A three member-bench headed by the Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry directed Inspector General of Police Sindh Mushtaq Shah to recover the abducted women and produce them before the court at the next hearing – March 26.
The attorney-general appeared on behalf of the federal government and requested for some time to seek instructions from the relevant quarters.
‘Victim’ turns up
Meanwhile Faryal, formerly known as Rinkle Kumari, was brought to the Sukkur bench of the Sindh High Court amidst stringent security. She was accompanied by her husband Naveed Shah, while Pakistan Peoples Party MNA Mian Abdul Haq of Bharchoondi Sharif, his son and large number of their followers were also present.
The couple had filed a constitutional petition stating that their lives are under threat, and the girl’s relatives are issuing threats of dire consequences.
A seemingly composed Faryal told reporters that she was neither kidnapped, nor converted or married forcibly. She said she converted to Islam and married Shah of her free will, and that nobody pressurised her into doing so.
Our lives are under threat by my maternal uncle Raj Kumar, Faryal said, adding that she wants to stay with her husband.
Advocate Mohammad Murad, representing Faryal’s grandfather Manohar Lal, insisted she was under pressure due to the presence of a large number of Bharchoondi Sharif’s followers.
The judge has ordered the police to present the couple before him in Karachi on March 12, he said, adding that things will be clearer then after Faryal records her statement away from the pressure.
Faryal came to Dargah Bharchoondi Sharif on February 24 to convert and marry Shah, Haq’s son Mohammad Aslam said while talking to The Express Tribune.
The girl, on my instructions, talked to her parents on the phone and informed them that she had come to the dargah of her own accord, Aslam said.
“I personally requested them to come over and meet their daughter to see that she was not under pressure, but they did not come,” he said.
“Everyone saw that Faryal was not under pressure, nor did she utter a word against the pirs of Bharchoondi Sharif,” Aslam added.
Following Faryal’s statement at the court, the Hindu Panchayat in Mirpur Mathelo announced they would not celebrate Holi because of the incident.
Rinkle was kidnapped and forcibly converted to Islam and married to Shah, said the panchayat’s president Nand Lal.
The Hindu community will appeal to the Sindh High Court (SHC) chief justice to record Rinkle’s statement, Lal said.
Her decision in front of the SHC – whether she goes with her husband or her parents – will be accepted by her family and the community, he added.(With additional input by our correspondent in Islamabad)
Published in The Express Tribune, March 9th, 2012.