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Sikh Priest's Daughter Converted To Islam In Lahore's Nankana Sahib, Capt, SGPC Slam 'Forced' Conversion And Marriage, Urge Imran Khan To Act

Darpan News Desk IANS, 30 Aug, 2019
  • Sikh Priest's Daughter Converted To Islam In Lahore's Nankana Sahib, Capt, SGPC Slam 'Forced' Conversion And Marriage, Urge Imran Khan To Act

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday sought Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's intervention over reports of a Sikh girl in Pakistan allegedly being abducted and forced to convert to Islam.

 

"Shocking incident of a Sikh girl being kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam in Nankana Sahib, Pakistan," the Chief Minister tweeted, tagging a video.

 
 

Amarinder called on Khan to take firm and immediate action against the perpetrators.

 

He also urged External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar to take up the issue with his Pakistani counterpart at the earliest.

 

In the video message, the family of the girl has claimed that she was abducted and forcibly converted to Islam.

 

The family alleged that she was "abducted" and "threatened" that if she didn't convert into Islam, her brothers and father would be shot dead.

 
 

"The girl who was abducted yesterday is my sister. She was threatened by some goons that her brothers and father would be shot if she did not accept Islam," said her brother Surinder Singh of Nankana Sahib.

 
 

"We went to a police station to register a complaint. We met many senior officials but they have not listened to us. The men came to our house again, forced us to withdraw our complaint and threatened that they will force us to convert to Islam if we pursued the complaint," he said.

 

"I request Prime Minister Imran Khan and the Chief Justice (Asif Saeed Khosa) to help us bringing her back," he added.

 

The 19-year-old girl is the daughter of a 'granthi' (priest) of Gurudwara Tambu Sahib and was converted to Islam at gunpoint.

 

Her family said they will self immolate themselves in-front of the Punjab Governor's house on August 31 if the girl was not released.

 
 

Several videos related to the incident went viral.

 

In a clip the girl introduced herself as Jagjit Kaur, 19. Her 'nikahnamaa' was read out and she was asked for her consent for marrying Mohammad Hussain Zulfikar.

 

Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee (DSGMC) President and Akali Dal leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa condemned the incident.

 
 

He urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Jaishankar to take up the matter at the global level as the forced conversions in Pakistan have angered Sikhs.

 

"This issue must be taken up at @UN as it threatens Sikhs' freedom of religion," Sirsa tweeted.

 
 

INDIA ASKS PAK TO ACT ON SIKH GIRL'S FORCED CONVERSION

 

India on Friday said it has asked for "immediate remedial action" by Pakistan in the case of a minor Sikh girl being forcibly converted to Islam and married to a Muslim man.

 

The Ministry of External Affairs in a statement said it has received a number of representations from various quarters of civil society in India and members of Sikh religious bodies on the incident of abduction and forced conversion to Islam and marriage of the minor daughter of a Sikh granthi from Nankana Sahib, in Pakistan.

 
 

"We have shared these concerns with the Government of Pakistan and asked for immediate remedial action," the MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.

 

India's reaction comes as Pakistan was reported to have constituted a 30-member committee in the case.

 

The girl, Jagjit Kaur, who is now known as Aeysha, submitted her statement with a local Pakistani court under oath saying that she wilfully embraced Islam. She also refuted charges leveled in the police complaint filed by her parents.

 
 

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has voiced shock over the incident, which has gone viral on twitter with the girl's brother appealing to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to return his sister and provide them security. He has also said the incident could impact the Kartarpur Corridor that is set to open in November, and also the Kashmir issue.

 

Amarinder tweeted: "Shocking incident of a Sikh girl being kidnapped & forced to convert to Islam in Nankana Sahib, Pakistan. Call upon @ImranKhanPTI to take firm and immediate action against the perpetrators. Request @DrSJaishankar to strongly take up the issue with his counterpart at the earliest," the Punjab CM tweeted.

 

The incident has drawn the attention of Sikhs worldwide and sparked anger in the community.

 

Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal has taken up the issue with Foreign Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar. Terming the act as being shameful, Harsimrat said Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan should immediately take action against the perpetrators.

 

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader and Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) president, Manjinder Singh Sirsa, who led a delegation to meet officials in the foreign affairs ministry Friday said Sikhs will hold a protest in front of the Governor’s house in Lahore where an international conference is being organised.

 
 

“I have received telephonic calls from the father and the brother, Manmohan Singh, of the abducted girl as their family is in trauma,” Sirsa said. “They want the safe return of the girl.”

 

He said Indian officials were in touch with the acting High Commissioner of Pakistan on the issue.

 
 

In a video being circulated on social media, the girl Jagjit Kaur's brother Manmohan Singh relates how his sister was forcibly abducted and warned that unless she converts to Islam, her brother and father would be killed.

 

"She was forcibly converted. It is my appeal to Imran Khan and Gen Bajwa to help us, and that my sister be brought back home. We apprehend that tomorrow such incidents should not take place on the Kartarpur corridor," he says in one video.

 

"We belong to Nankana Sahib. Last night some goons came to our house and forcibly abducted our sister Jagjit Kaur and converted her to Islam. We filed a complaint with the police, but no one wanted to register our complaint. After we returned home the goons came back and threatened us to take back our complaint, or we would also be converted to Islam if we want to remain here."

 

"It is our appeal to PM Imran Khan that we be given security. If this is not done, then on Aug 31 we will go to the governor's house and commit self-immolation. We also want our sister back safe and sound," he says in the video appeal.

 
 

The girl surfaced on Thursday after marrying a Muslim man.

 
 

ADOPTED ISLAM OUT OF MY OWN FREE WILL: SIKH GIRL AFTER FAMILY ALLEGES FORCED CONVERSION IN PAKISTAN

 

However, Jagjit Kaur's latest statement given in a court has provided a new twist to the incident.

 

In her statement, Jagjit Kaur said, "I am an independent individual. I am 19 years old. I contracted marriage with one Muhammad Hassaan on August 28, 2019, of my own free will and consent. My Sikh name was Jagjit Kaur and it was mentioned in an FIR as well whereas after the conversion to Islam, I adopted the new name Ayesha."

 

"Neither anybody abducted me nor committed zina [Islamic legal term meaning illicit sexual relations] with me. I left my parent's house with three pairs of clothes, without any gold ornaments or cash. The accused persons in the FIR are innocent. The story narrated in the FIR is false, frivolous and baseless."

 

Jagjit Kaur's (now Ayesha) statement has given a new twist to the case as her family has alleged that she was abducted and forcibly converted to Islam. On the other hand, Jagjit Kaur has filed a case in Lahore High Court accusing her family of giving her death threats.

 

Jagjit Kaur is currently housed in Darul Aman, a shelter home for females in Lahore.

 

CHIEF MINISTER OF PUNJAB IN PAKISTAN TAKES NOTICE

 

After the issue created an uproar, the matter was picked up by the Sikh community in Nankana Sahib. Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar took notice of the incident and deputed the law minister Raja Basharat to look into the matter.

 

Raja Basharat, who is the law minister of the Punjab province, constituted a high-level committee which was assigned to engage with Pakistan's Sikh community.

 

The high-level committee comprised of 30 members who looked into the allegations of Jajit Kaur's forced conversion to Islam.

 

JAGJIT KAUR'S ADVOCATE FILES WRIT PETITION IN LAHORE HIGH COURT

 

Sheikh Sultan, Jagjit Kaur's advocate, maintained that she had embraced Islam of her own free will.

 

"Jagjit Kaur has embraced Islam and has been given the name Ayesha. She has then contracted marriage with Mohammad Hassan of her own free will."

 

Jagjit Kaur's lawyer has field a writ petition in the Lahore High Court against her accusing them of harassment.

 

Jagjit Kaur's family believes that the whole issue is in fact a case of forced conversion.

 

JAMMU: SIKH WOMEN STAGE PROTEST AGAINST FORCED RELIGIOUS CONVERSION OF SIKH GIRL'S IN LAHORE

 

Sikh Women here on Friday led a protest against "forceful religious conversion" of a girl from their community in Pakistan.

 

Jagjit Kaur, 19, who was missing for a number of days, was found on Thursday after she was forcibly converted to Islam and made to marry a Muslim man. Daughter of Bhagwan Singh, a 'granthi' (priest) of Gurudwara Tambu Sahib, she was converted to Islam at gunpoint in Lahore's Nankana Sahib.

 

"We are protesting against the Pakistan government. It is very shameful that the religion of a girl was forcefully converted. We seek an answer from Imran Khan that they go to the UN for everything. In India, our government works for every person irrespective of their religion. Minorities should get protection in every country," a protester Jasneet Kaur told.

 

Kaur demanded that Foreign Affairs Minister S Jaishankar should look into the issue.

 

"We demand that Foreign Affairs Minister should take the issue forward and investigate the whole matter," she said.

 

The protestors also raised slogans like 'Pakistan Murdabad' and 'Imran Khan Murdabad'.

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