KARACHI: Sindh Minorities Affairs Minister Hari Ram Kishori Lal assured the family of Mehak Kumari, a 15-year-old Hindu girl who was allegedly forced to convert to Islam, of his full support.
In a telephonic conversation with the mukhi (leader) of the Hindu Panchayat of Jacobabad on Wednesday, the minister said that the Sindh government fully supported the stance of the family and the panchayat.
Kumari was allegedly abducted from Nimani Sanghat Muhalla, Jacobabad, on January 15. Her father, Vijay Kumar, filed an FIR claiming that Ali Raza Solangi had abducted and married her. He added that Kumari, a grade nine student, was just 15 years and a month old when she was kidnapped.
Kumari and Solangi were produced in court on January 21, when Kumari was sent Darul Aman by the bench. The court further directed Chandka Medical College Hospital to submit a report about Kumari’s age by February 3.
Lal said that the forced conversion of minor Hindu girls had become a common issue. He added that the Hindus of Sindh were its oldest inhabitants, and their lives and deaths were linked deeply with the soil of the province.
He appealed to the authorities to take notice of the brutality and injustice being committed against the girls of the Hindu community, and to take measures to ensure security for the minority communities.
Pointing out that Kumari could not marry until she was 18, under the legislation of the Child Marriage Restraint Act, he said that her marriage was a crime as per the law.
Lal praised the court’s decision to send the girl to Darul Alam, saying that the girls in such cases should not be handed over to those who were involved in their abduction.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 23rd, 2020.