Protests in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa against abduction, forced conversion of Sikh woman

Members of the Sikh community protested for a second day in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province against a woman’s alleged abduction, forceful conversion and marriage to a Muslim man.

“Dina Kumari, 25, a government teacher, went on duty on Saturday and did not return,” Dawn news quoted Sanat Singh, a relative of the woman, as saying. He added that the family had started a search for her but it was in vain.

He said the victim’s family members, along with other community members, had gathered in front of Pir Baba police station on Saturday, in whose limits the incident happened, and demanded the registration of the alleged incident, but the police refused to do so.

“When police showed reluctance to register an FIR, the family staged a protest outside the police station,” he said, adding that subsequently, the police had assured them of recovering the missing woman, Dawn reported.

The Sikh community again approached the police who informed them that she was recovered and she had married her neighbour, a Muslim man, in court.

“She was engaged and her marriage was planned for next month,” Singh said, alleging that she was forcibly converted to Islam and married, Dawn reported.

Another Sikh community leader, Radash Singh Tony, claimed that the woman was kidnapped, forcibly converted and married off but the police were playing the role of a “silent spectator”.

He said that when the community members met the district police officer on Saturday night, he had assured them that Kumari would be handed over to the family, but on Sunday, the police misbehaved with the family members and did not hand her over or register their report.

Tony demanded that the government reunite Kumari with the family.

Meanwhile, Buner DPO Abdur Rasheed rejected the family’s allegation while speaking to Dawn news, saying that the police recovered the woman and produced her before a magistrate in a local sessions court where she recorded her statement, confirming in the court that she converted to Islam and contracted marriage of her own free will and submitted the relevant documents.

He added that the court asked the police to move her to Darul Aman and provide her security, Dawn reported.

“The case is in the court. If the court orders of to register an FIR, the police will,” the DPO added.

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