Forced conversion: Asha’s family raises questions about her statement to the media

Published: April 16, 2012
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At a protest held against forced conversions at the press club on Sunday, Das said that Asha’s family refuses to believe her statement as they know that she was forcefully converted and married off. PHOTO: PPI

At a protest held against forced conversions at the press club on Sunday, Das said that Asha’s family refuses to believe her statement as they know that she was forcefully converted and married off. PHOTO: PPI

KARACHI: The Hindu community rejected the claims of 15-year-old Asha Kumari, who on Friday said that she embraced Islam and married a Muslim man of her own free will.

“She was kidnapped from a beauty parlour and for more than forty days, there was no news about her whereabouts,” said Asha’s uncle, Sundar Das, in bafflement. “On April 13, she suddenly turns up at the Supreme Court and says that she chose to change her religion. What is this?”

At a protest held against forced conversions at the press club on Sunday, Das said that Asha’s family refuses to believe her statement as they know that she was forcefully converted and married off.

The community blamed MNA and Pir of Bharchondi Sharif, Abdul Haq aka Mian Mitho, for backing the alleged kidnapping, conversion and marriage of Asha Kumari, who disappeared from a beauty parlour in Jacobabad on March 3.

The Pakistan Hindu Council patron, Ramesh Kumar, who was at the Supreme Court hearing on Friday, alleged that Asha’s appearance was merely a drama staged by the kidnappers. “She came to record her statement before the date of her hearing which is on April 18,” said Kumar, while referring to her absence at the earlier scheduled hearing on March 26. “No statement was recorded but she spoke to the media in the presence of Mian Mitho’s sons and said that she converted of her own choice.”

Raised suspicions

Meanwhile, the community demanded that action should be taken against the parliamentarian. “Why is Mian Mitho involved in each and every case of kidnapping and forced conversion?” asked the protesters. “She embraced Islam at Bharchondi Sharif and his men also accompanied her to the court. Why is the government not taking any action?” The protesters also called for a judicial commission to investigate forced conversions. Mangla Sharma, the Pak-Hindu Welfare Association chairperson, said that the commission should look into at least the six-month old cases of alleged forced conversions and inquire about the conspiracies being hatched against the Hindu community.

“The man Asha has claimed to marry of her own free will is a father of four children. Also, if she was not forced to convert, then why wasn’t she presented earlier,” added Sharma.

Rinkle Kumari’s case

The family of Rinkle Kumari also participated in the demonstration.

Rinkle, who now goes by the name Faryal, had also stated earlier that her conversion to Islam and her marriage to a Muslim boy were by her own choice. While the family had come to express solidarity with Asha, they came forward with their own demands. “The parents should be allowed to meet Rinkle at the women’s shelter,” said Rinkle’s brother-in-law, Shankar Das. “Her mother’s condition is deteriorating day by day and she just wants to meet her daughter.”

Published in The Express Tribune, April 16th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (27)

  • Attif Abbas
    Apr 16, 2012 - 8:13AM

    It is the duty of media to dig out the truth from events and present it to there readers.
    Media is rather making the political issues into civil rights,human rights or a religious rights issue,which is nt fair.

    Recommend

  • Waqas
    Apr 16, 2012 - 11:07AM

    Another reason for pakistani non-muslims like me to hate Pakistan and Pakistani Muslims!

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  • Uzair
    Apr 16, 2012 - 12:15PM

    There is no compulsion in religion: It’s entirely your choice whether you want to follow and practice “our” set of beliefs, or to stop living.

    Liberal fascist should understand this simple fact, that full religious freedom is allowed in our country, and stop crying about such cases.

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  • Sunny
    Apr 16, 2012 - 12:38PM

    15 year old girl apears before Supreme court after 40 days and tell the court she converted of her own will.. the girl is sent back with husband till 18th April to apear again before the court.. what a hypocricy !! Rubbish !! judge should have sent her shelter home till next hearing and must have arrested her so called husband the father of 4 childrens for alleged kidnapping, by the way how come an immature 15 year old girl being asked for free will…. the whole system is corrupt,

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  • Eruve
    Apr 16, 2012 - 1:20PM

    No arrest for Statutory rape or pedophilia? It does look like a case of at least statutory rape to me. MNAs supporting rapists, all for a conversion. What has this world come to?

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  • waqas
    Apr 16, 2012 - 1:27PM

    @ Uzair liberal facist? atleast the liberals are not turning their eyes blind for such cases, unlike religious idiots like u! What religious freedom is there for minorities in Pakistan?Are the minorities allowed to promote their religion in Pakistan? NO! Are the minorities allowed to marry muslims without converting to Islam? NO! Is it allowed if someone leave Islam and convert to other religion? NO! U will get death penalty for this!

    What if such cases happens to muslims? then u muslims woudl turn violent and start jihad or not? In secular/western countries, muslims are enjoying more freedoms and rights then minorities living in all islamic countries together! PERIOD!

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  • Mohsin
    Apr 16, 2012 - 1:46PM

    No compulsion in Islam. You can accept it or die…

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  • Rehan
    Apr 16, 2012 - 2:03PM

    If atrocities of minority in pakistan is continued, pakistan is destined to doom soon. No country can survive, if it is based on religious fundamentalism and can not secure freedom and protection to its minorities.
    The real character of any society or nation is depicted by way, its minorities are treated. If people of pakistan want to save their country, then they should wake up and shed off all the religious impressions from their mindset.

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  • BADurrani
    Apr 16, 2012 - 2:05PM

    I’m shocked that no one bothered to notice that she is 15 years old, by Pakistani law the legal marrigable age is 18 for males, 16 for females. which ever genius judge she spoke to should have informed the girl that she is not allowed to marry till she’s 16 and returned her to her parents.

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  • faraz
    Apr 16, 2012 - 2:25PM

    @Uzair

    Thousands of Hindus have migrated to India; come out of this self righteous moral superiority. You are living in a country which is called the global hub of extremism and terrorism

    Recommend

  • MarkH
    Apr 16, 2012 - 2:31PM

    Do you know what a court in a sane country would have done the moment that girl opened her mouth? They would have disregarded it and asked “Where are your parents? Did they allow it?” If not “You’re going home, the man is going to jail, wait 3 years and try again.”

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  • Realist
    Apr 16, 2012 - 3:17PM

    @Waqas:

    Trust me. We Muslims don’t give a damn about you.

    Recommend

  • vasan
    Apr 16, 2012 - 3:56PM

    What happened to my comment? How can a 15 year old girl objectively analyze religions and convert to a diff religion? Arent the parents guardians for such a minor girl? All these point to forced conversion at gun point only,

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  • ReligionOfPeace
    Apr 16, 2012 - 4:21PM

    Is this article a joke? A 15 year old is married off and converted? And thats accepted by a court? Are these people living in 10 century/Stone age?

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  • Apr 16, 2012 - 5:19PM

    @Realist:
    You are not a realist. What kind of mentality is that? Not giving a damn about a man who speaks the truth. The girl is a minor. She is just a child in the eyes of the law. What is your answer to that? Your thinking has to change. Recommend

  • khurshid
    Apr 16, 2012 - 5:40PM

    Those who are citing this case as an example of religious freedom and choice to convert should also ponder over the other side of the equation. Namely, a 15 year old Muslim girl runs away from home and come before the Courts to assert that she has converted to Hinduism of her free will and married a Hindu man (already a father of several children). Consequence: girl declared a Murtid and liable to death; the man presumably will be shot on the way to the Court and the killer would be garlanded by Lawyers and Maulanas as having carried out the required punishment. Islamic laws, anyone?

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  • American Desi
    Apr 16, 2012 - 6:07PM

    This is a ploy by Hindus to tarnish the image of religion of peace! Why insult the court for sending the girl back to rightful owner, her husband?! Court was so impartial and did not discriminate her statement based on age! Also, how does it matter if the man already has 4 children when love is blind? She would have four friends to play with! Shame on these liberals and Hindus for crying foul whenever someone finds God and turns to the real religion, Islam, rightful religion of our ancestors! Pakistan Zindabad.

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  • khurshid
    Apr 16, 2012 - 6:15PM

    @realist. Your comment “@Waqas: The last time I heard Islam is a religion meaning Peace and a Muslim as one “from whose hands and tongue no one would get unfairness” You may have your own definition of what islam is and how muslims think, please don’t generalize it drag us all in the mud where slimy creatures exist.Recommend

  • Xcaret
    Apr 16, 2012 - 6:39PM

    @American Desi:
    “Why insult the court for sending the girl back to rightful owner, her husband?”,
    RIGHTFUL OWNER?, how much did he pay?

    Recommend

  • Hani Rajput
    Apr 16, 2012 - 10:44PM

    The humans are treated as animals on the grounds of religion. Extremism is one reason why Pakistan may not be a stable country. We Pakistani’s are in constant state of fear. There is no freedom of thoughts in this country. Hindus are not considered as humans here, they are 1st considered as infidels. Were there no humans before Islam?, being a Muslim I see these extremist as infidels, they have not learned the true teachings of Islam. Allah is omnipresent, Allah is in humans, so when someone hurts humans, he hurts Allah. Females have there rights, be it muslim or non-muslim. People who forcibly convert and use the name of Islam to fulfil there desire of lust must be punished according to the law as this falls under the heading of rape, which is considered as Gunah’e-Kabira. Rinkal Kumari, Asha Kumari, Lata, Sapna, and many others have faced such inhuman acts of extremist. The problem is not limited to hindus, its to chiristians and also to muslim women who fall in the sight of such lust. Pakistan should re-consider the rights of women and minorities for if such lawlessness is allowed to happen with minorities then in no time it will reach at our doorsteps too. But nevertheless there is no injustice by nature and one should not feel alone as the ultimate force is with every human for he loves his creation more then we do.Recommend

  • rajesh
    Apr 16, 2012 - 11:48PM

    Every body is corrupt here . everybody can understand this happening but nobody want to tell truth because they are scared from MNA miyan mitho. we have no any hope of justice in our country we are helpless nobody want to help us everybody scared from this danger man .. we appeal to chief justice that please arrest this person … and release our sisters please

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  • Waqas
    Apr 17, 2012 - 12:35AM

    @Realist

    Really trust all the non-muslims around the world, we know muslims never care about anyone,never care about thing called humanity, peace, tolerance, love, read the history of spreading islam by force/sword! So no surprise such attitude from a muslim like u and the forced conversion that is happening everyday wich is applauded by muslims!

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  • Apr 17, 2012 - 12:37AM

    @Uzair:
    Maybe right wing conservative extremists should realize that their ‘freedom of religion’ is barely practised in Pakistan, both in law and practice and mere hypocrisy. Yes, our Islam isn’t like this, but twisted ideology and religious intolerance has been adopted in Pak society, not only creating sick criminals like the kidnappers, but ignorant professionals like the judge.

    Why do you not condemn the kidnapping and forced marriage (or rape) of a 15 year old minority Hindu Pakistani girl against her family’s will and her being handed back to the accused?

    But here you are, more concerned about the nation’s fake image than acknowledging real people’s pain, or even considering to take this issue of kidnap and rape seriously and instead rather dismiss it. We are crying because it is an injustice, against a fellow citizen, and moderate and liberal Muslims recognize this.

    Recommend

  • Mirza
    Apr 17, 2012 - 2:41AM

    @American Desi:
    I hope you are not serious, are you? Every question would be answered and cleared if we just tell “what is the min age of a girl to get married on her own”? Or we can continue child molestation?

    Regards,
    Mirza

    Recommend

  • Abhoy
    Apr 17, 2012 - 4:16AM

    Shameless people.. most unhuman,barbaric & uncivilized act..I cant understand ,how come these people able to have a sleep after commenting such crimes… Rightly said they are demons in human face.

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  • LogicNeeded
    Apr 17, 2012 - 2:19PM

    This only proves that women are treated as commodity in the eye of Pakistani men and even judges. Marriage should be declared void because she is just 15. This is case of pakistani judge legalizing child abuse.

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  • vivek singh
    Apr 21, 2012 - 12:45PM

    all hindu must leave pakistan and come to india for ever . there is no justice for hindu kidnapping is done every day and rape force conversion of hindu gilrs our hindu brother and sister must leave pakistan and leave in india with peace Recommend

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