India asks Pak to act on Sikh girl's forced conversion

New Delhi, Aug 30 (IANS) 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.

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.

--IANS

rn/prs

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