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Friday, June 9, 2023

Pakistani Hindu girl Sara Kolhi abducted for conversion-nikah at Sufi shrine by Muslim landlord to ‘pay off debt’: Sindh

A Hindu girl named Sara, daughter of Veero Kolhi, from the village of Talho Malho in Umerkot district, Sindh, Pakistan was drugged, abducted, forcibly converted to Islam and married by a Muslim landlord named Sajan Junejo.

According to Sara’s mother, their family was drugged by Sajan Junejo in the evening after which he picked up the young girl in the middle of the night and took her to the Sufi dargah of Pir Ayub Jan Sarhandi in Samaro, where she was converted to Islam and married to him.

Conversion certificate of Saran issued by Pir Ayub Jan Sarhandi dargah (Image Source: Narain Das Bheel)

(Video Source: Narain Das Bheel)

The mother of the abducted girl said, “We were laborers in Sajan Junejo’s farm, my son also grazed their goats. For 7 years he did not pay us even 1 rupee, and now he says we owe him 2 lakh rupees debt. We paid 1 lakh rupees, and requested him to waive off 1 lakh. In the morning we had to vacate the farm, but the night before they drugged us and kidnapped my daughter. Sajan Junejo, Sadro Kando, Mahar Luqman, Yaseen Gulo and others are responsible.”

For decades, there have been innumerable cases of underage Hindu girls being abducted, forcibly converted to Islam, and married off to their abductors in Sindh, Pakistan. Despite the outcry from the Hindu community and human rights organizations, the Pakistan government has shown little interest in stopping this disturbing trend.

Nikhah nama of abducted girl Sara Kolhi (Image Source: Narain Das Bheel)

The situation is particularly alarming in the province of Sindh, where cases of forced conversions have been reported at an alarming rate. Many of these incidents are carried out by organized conversion factories, which operate with impunity and are protected by influential religious leaders and politicians. The situation is particularly dire in two main Sufi shrines: Pir Ayub Jan Sarhandi in Samaro, and Pir Mian Abdul Khaliq (Mian Mithoo)’s Bharchundi sharif in Ghotki, Sindh. These shrines have become hotspots for the abduction and forced conversion of Hindu girls.

It is conservatively estimated that 1000 minority girls are abducted each year from Sindh alone, although human rights activist fear that the actual number is even higher, and many other cases of sexual assault go unreported. Not surprisingly, many more cases have come to light in and around the time Sara was abducted.

A minor Hindu girl, daughter of Khoro Kolhi, was abducted and converted to Islam in Nagarparkar, Tharparkar district of Sindh, reports activist Narain Das Bheel. She was forcibly converted at Gulzar Khalil madrasa in Samaro and married to Zulfikar Khoso.

Another minor Hindu girl Guddi, d/o Longio, was abducted form Hala, Matiari district of Sindh. The 13-year-old child was abducted, forcibly converted to Islam and married by Afaq. A petition filed by her parents with session court in Hyderabad is due for hearing on 22 March. But most such hearings follow a similar rigged pattern in Pakistan – the girl is coerced into saying that she is adult and married her abductor of her ‘own free will’; or an age test is ordered where a sham medical board determines the child is actually an ‘adult’.
In yet another conversion-nikah case reported from that same week, a Hindu girl was converted to Islam to become ‘Aisha’ and married to Ashiq Hussain in New Dumbalo, Badin district of Sindh.

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