A section of Islamic clerics in Pakistan has been sullen after a minor Hindu girl, Mehak Kumari, changed her previous statement in court. Mehak had, during the previous hearing in the court, ruled out the role of force in her conversion to Islam. Today she said she had been forced to convert indeed.
The clerics turned so livid seeing the girl ‘turn hostile’ that they demanded the death penalty for the minor! They say the girl has insulted Islam. They have declared her a murtad (apostate in Islam).
The clerics say a further investigation into the matter would be futile as will be the proceedings of the sessions court. They have already moved the high court. The clerics have also threatened to go to the Shari’ah court.
Incidents of forced conversion of minority women, mostly Hindu, are rampant in Pakistan. Such cases surface here every day.
Mehak Kumari had earlier spoken of marrying Ali Raza at will, denying any pressure on her for the conversion. She has now withdrawn the previous affidavit.
In Pakistan, members of the Hindu community have been demonstrating on the streets against conversion. They allege the reason for such widespread conversion is a nexus between the government and the clerics.
During a media interaction, a cleric said, “The girl has refused to accept Islam and we will work under the Shari’ah law in the future. We have appealed to the high court, which will issue an order tomorrow. If needed, we will go to the Supreme Court and the Shari’ah Court.”
The sessions court has not yet delivered its verdict. It sent the minor girl to the local Dar-ul-Aman (home) for 11 days.
The lawyer representing the complainant and his parents informed that the court wanted to conduct a thorough investigation into the case and did not want to issue a judgment under pressure.
The lawyer said, “The court has not given any verdict and we have been given a time limit of 11 days. The court has ordered the holding of Mehak Kumari alias Nanki Kumari at Dar-ul-Aman in Larkana district of Sindh. The next hearing is on 18 February.
The additional sessions judge has stated that both sides, the accused Ali Raza and complainant Ajay Kumar Wadhwani can make separate requests to meet the girl in the presence of their advocates.
The grim development assumes significance in the wake of leftist-Muslim protests against the amended citizenship law (CAA) in India that seeks to offer shelter and citizenship to Hindu families like that of this minor girl in the event of their escape to India. Before the amendment, the government of the Indian state of Rajasthan, in particular, used to force such Hindus back to Pakistan to be persecuted again.