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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Hindu girl kidnapped by influential Syed villagers in Pakistan’s Thar

Yet another Hindu girl has been kidnapped in Pakistan, with the almost certain objective of forcibly converting her to Islam, and marrying her to a local Muslim man.  This latest incident comes from the Tharparkar area, which is home to several Hindu families.  The suspected kidnapper is from a locally influential “Syed” community.

The case is all the more brazen since sleeping pills were somehow given to the family of the girl—16 year old Ravita Meghwar—and then she was taken away.  Her family had to receive treatment at the local hospital for the sedation they were given.

As per a report in Pakistani newspaper Dawn

“Haqu, the girl’s mother and father Satram Das while talking to local journalists in the hospital alleged that their daughter was kidnapped by influential members from the Syed community and expressed the fear that Ravita might be forcibly married to Syed Nawaz Ali Shah, who according to them, used to tease her.

Local PPP MLA … Manjani, while talking to journalists deplored that the teenage girl might be forced to convert.

Joint police teams from Tharparkar and Umerkot districts raided various villages to trace the girl, but to no avail.”

This is the typical pattern in Pakistani cases of abduction of Hindu girls:

  1. Girl is usually very young—in her teens or even younger
  2. She “vanishes” one day
  3. Her family complains to the police, who do some searches, but the girl is never found
  4. Some time later (a few weeks), the family receives a letter, usually from an influential Muslim seminary nearby, that the girl has “willingly converted” to Islam.
  5. She then appears in public in Muslim dress, and with a husband at her side.
  6. The family of the girl receives grave threats if they continue to pursue the matter, and in many cases is forced to relocate.

In all these cases, the girl is first “broken” mentally and emotionally.  She is convinced that her family will be in grave danger if she refuses to convert and marry the Muslim man.  Eventually, the girl agrees in order to protect her family.

There have been many high profile cases in the recent past, all of which follow this pattern. Rinkle Kumari, Dr. Asha, 12-year-old Kajal Bheel, Priya Rani (a Sikh Girl abducted in April this year), and many others.

We pray that Ravita does not add to this list of victims.

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