Bharchundi Sharif caretaker held conversion ceremony
A 13-year-old girl was kidnapped from her home in Tangwani Taluka of Kashmore, her family has said.
Her father Takhtmal told SAMAA Digital that his daughter Kavita was kidnapped from their home by five people on March 8 and he hasn’t heard from her.
The family has filed an FIR against the kidnappers. In his statement, her father told the police that five people dragged his daughter from their home to a white vehicle and sped away.
He told police that he can identify four of the five kidnappers and their names are Mushtaq, Bhural, Rustam and Muhammad Bux. Two of them were carrying pistols. They told us not to resist and said they will marry her off to Mushtaq, Takhtmal said in his statement.
Kavita was converted to Islam Tuesday in the presence of Pir Abdul Khaliq, the caretaker of Khanqah-i-Aalia Qadria Bharchundi Sharif in Daharki, according to a video seen by SAMAA Digital.
The teenager has been moved to Ghotki from Kashmore where she appeared before a court and sought protection from her family because she claimed she married Mushtaq against the will of her parents, Sindh chief minister’s Special Assistant and a lawyer Veerji Kohli said.
Kashmore SSP Amjad Shaikh confirmed that she appeared before a court on Wednesday and told the judge that her age is over 18.
Kohli said there is no law to prove if someone is forcefully converted because the girls or young women appear before a judge and tell them they converted of their own free will. But, he added that the police will deal with this case under the Sindh Child Marriage Restraint Act.
In 2014, the Sindh Assembly unanimously adopted the Sindh Child Marriage Restraint Act, which raised the legal minimum age of marriage for boys and girls to 18 years. It made the act a punishable offence. A man, above 18 years, who contracts a child marriage, can now be imprisoned for three years.
The court, Kohli believes, will order a medical examination to ascertain Kavita’s age and if she is under 18 then her marriage will be void.