» 03/28/2012, 00.00
Hindu girl tells Supreme Court she would rather die than convert to Islam
Seized by an influential Muslim, with the "political cover" of an elected official, 19 year old Rinkel Kumari launches a desperate appeal to the courts. “Justice is denied Hindus in Pakistan” and therefore asks to" kill me here "in the courtroom. The family, after reporting to police, forced to leave the village in Sindh. Each year there are 300 forced marriages and conversions
Islamabad (AsiaNews) - "In Pakistan there is
justice only for Muslims, justice is denied Hindus. Kill me here, now, in
court. But do not send me back to the Darul-Aman [Koranic school] ... kill me".
is the desperate, heartbreaking outburst of Rinkel Kumari, a Hindu girl aged
19, who has entrusted her heartfelt appeal to the judges of the Supreme Court
in Islamabad. Her
story is similar to that of many other young women and girls belonging to
religious minorities - Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Ahmadis - kidnapped by
extremist groups or individuals, most of the time lords or local mafia, which
convert them by force and then marry them . And
that is what the girl said on 26 March, before the judges of the capital's court.
drama of Rinkel Kumari, a student of Mirpur Mathelo, a small village in the
province of Sindh, began the evening of February 24: A handful of men seized her
and delivered her a few hours later into the hands of a wealthy Muslim scholar,
the man then
called her parents, warning them that their daughter "wants to convert to
Lal, the girl's father, a teacher of an elementary school, accused Naveed Shah,
an influential Muslim, of kidnapping his daughter. The man has the "political cover"
provided by Mian Mittho, an elected National Assembly Member, suspected of
aiding and abetting. After
identifying the perpetrators of the kidnapping of his daughter, he was forced
to leave the area of origin to escape the threats of people affiliated with the
local mafia. The
father found refuge and welcome in Gurdwara in Lahore, in Punjab province, with
the rest of his family.
often happens in these cases, even the judiciary is complicit: a local judge ordered
that the girl should be given to the Muslims, because her conversion is
"the result of a spontaneous decision" and also stated the marriage
was above board. A
claim that was repeated on February 27, at the hearing before the court, after
which the girl was "renamed" Faryal Shah.
the story of Rinkel is not an isolated case: every month between 25 and 30
young people suffer similar abuses, for a yearly total of about 300 conversions
and forced marriages. Hindu
girls - but also Christian - who are torn from their family and delivered into
the hands of their husbands / torturers.
March 26, she appeared before the judges of the Supreme Court in Islamabad,
while the Hindu community waited with bated breath for the girl's statements in
avoid pressure, the presiding judge ordered the courtroom cleared and - later -
the dramatic testimony was relayed: in Pakistan, "there is no"
justice, "kill me here but do not send me back" to the kidnappers.
Speaking to AsiaNews Fr. Anwar
Patras, the Diocese of Rawalpindi, condemned "with force" the
kidnapping and forced conversion. "The
Hindus in Sindh - adds the priest - live a hard life. The reality is getting
harder for them, they are forced to migrate because the state is unable to
protect them and their property.
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