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Pakistan: Hindu girl found murdered; Another case of forced conversion?

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Sindh | September 17, 2019 12:11:30 PM IST
In yet another case highlighting the deplorable conditions of minorities in Pakistan, a Hindu girl from Sindh was found murdered in her hostel room.

First-year medical student, Namrita Chandani, who belonged to Ghotki town where a Hindu temple was ransacked recently, was found lying on a charpoy on Tuesday with a piece of cloth tied to her neck while her room was locked from inside.

The police and authorities have tried to downplay the incident by saying that she committed suicide. However, her family has asserted that she was murdered.

Namrita's brother, Vishal, who is a medical consultant, said that the preliminary checkup showed that she was murdered.

"It was not a suicide, suicide marks are different, I found cable marks around her neck. There are marks on her hand too. The marks are of cable but her friend had said that she found her with dupatta around her neck," said Vishal Sundar.

When asked whether she was facing some problems, he said, "No there was nothing like that, I myself had talked with her two days back. She was a brilliant student," he added.

He demanded that the case must be investigated fairly and citizens should support his family.

This comes a day after people vandalized properties including a temple in Ghotki after a school principal from the minority Hindu community was booked on charges of alleged blasphemy.

The mystery around the murder of Namrita has raised suspicions with people questioning whether it was a case of forced conversion.

In recent times, several cases of forced conversion have come to the fore, highlighting religious persecution in Pakistan.

Every year, around 1,000 young Sindhi Hindu girls between the age of 12 and 28 are abducted, forcibly married and converted to Islam, US-based Sindhi Foundation has said.

According to Pakistan's own human rights commission, from January 2004 to May 2018, there were 7,430 cases of such abductions of Sindhi girls in Pakistan. The actual number is estimated to be much higher as most of the cases go unreported.

The recent incident of abduction, forcible marriage and religious conversion of a Sikh girl of Nankana Sahib is a telling example of what minorities go through in Pakistan. Jagjit Kaur daughter of the Granthi of Nanakana Sahib Gurdwara, the birthplace of Shri Guru Nanak Dev, in Pakistan, was allegedly abducted and forcibly converted to Islam after her marriage to a Muslim man.

The matter had raised a furore in India, with several political leaders across parties asking for action to be taken against the perpetrators.

The incidents have come at a time when Pakistan has been ranting up its diabolic rhetoric of the so-called mistreatment of minorities in India, particularly Muslims.

Pakistan has been condemned internationally for cracking down on the minorities living in their country.

Islamabad has also reportedly been discriminating against its religious minorities which is manifested in various forms of targeted violence, mass murders, extrajudicial killings, abduction, rapes, forced conversion to Islam, etc., making the Pakistani Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Ahmadiyyas and Shias one of the most persecuted minorities in the region.

Pakistan's record of using unfair means of treatment against the minority communities was exposed once again after a former legislator of Prime Minister Imran Khan's party sought political asylum in India.

Baldev Kumar, a former MLA of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI party) from Barikot in Khyber Pakhtun Khwa (KPK) assembly and his family had come to India earlier this month to seek political asylum. (ANI)

 
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