Sindhi Hindus carried 15 points to the Sindh government to ensure the protection of Hindus in the province. On March 30, 2023, Pakistan Darawar Itehad Organization organized a protest from the Karachi Press Club to the Sindh Assembly – the large people of Hindus joined the protest, most of them were the victim families whose daughters were forcibly converted to Islam, killing and kidnapping of Hindus and the encroachment of the land and temples.
In Sindh, the cry has been heard regarding forced conversion since 2012, not only in the Sindh province including Punjab province and other areas of the country. Still, the state has not safeguarded Non-Muslims – indeed, the lack of safety led them to protest and make the ruling government listen to their problems.
The Victim families demanded: bring our daughter back
“If my daughter died, it might not make me much more hurt; the fact is my daughter is alive and is not with us,” says Sheela Meghwar’s Mother whose name is Marui Meghwar. Sheela was abducted from Mirpur Mathelo, Ghotki on March 19, 2023, and since then the police refused to file FIR.
The girl’s mother Marui took a bus at the night from Mirpur Mathelo to join the protest along with her brother and son. Meghwar came to join the protest to be heard about her daughter’s conversion as the local police did not cooperate with them and took delay tactics.
The girl’s mother continued sharing her story: her daughter was abducted and then tried everything to protect her daughter but she failed. At Madrassah, the family was asked to meet Sheela where she was converted to Islam.
Sheela’s mother was in tears while talking and repeating the question: “tell me if your [referring to the state] daughter met with you like that situation, how you would feel?”
Sheela wore Naqab, a veil, and had some bruises on her neck and swelled eyes. Girl’s Mother discovered the condition her daughter was unwell when she insisted that how she could believe that a girl who was behind a veil was her daughter. Sheela removed her veil for seconds after then her mother fainted dead away.
It was not only a story of Sheela’s mother – almost everyone who was in the protest, holding a placard of their daughters who had been abducted, converted to Islam, and married to Muslim men.
Another Mother of Chanda Maharaj who hailed from Hyderabad. Her two daughters were with her. Chanda Maharaj, a minor girl was kidnapped the last year and her FIR was registered after months when the issue was viral on social media. The court ordered a medical examination of the girl’s age and whether she was a minor. The medical team stated that Chanda Maharaj was a minor. Instead, the girl should have been sent to her parents but was sent to the shelter house. Chanda is believed to have been with a man who abducted her.
Ameet Kumar, a protester said that Dua, a minor girl rejoined her family under the Sindh Child marriages restraint act then why Hindu girls do not allow rejoining their families?
Protesters seemed in fear and avoided criticizing the state’s policies. They had repeated that they were pro-state and in protest, their demand was in accordance with the constitution of Pakistan. Besides, organizers tagged a Pakistani flag on their shirts for giving evidence that ‘they are pro-state.’
Words of forced conversion on placards were written and later, protesters were asked to hide the word, ‘forced.’ The protesters were not allowed to carry their placards with slogans, which carried the word “Forced” – Forced conversion.
Protesters realized that neither Human Rights organizations, nor activists joined their protest against forced conversion. However, Pakistan Hindu Council and Pakistan Hindu Panchayat did not show up their presence.
Sunny Kumar has been fighting a case of forced conversion for more than two years. He kept saying his sister Simran Kumari was mentally disturbed, and after a long time, the court accepted his version regarding his sister’s mental health.
“The court had agreed that my sister’s mental health was unwell, why they did not allow her to live with us,” he wondered and continued saying, protesters did not ask the government to look into their issue as they belonged to the Hindu community. Instead, official authorities should resolve the issue of forced conversion on the bases of a humanitarian cause.
He criticized Mian Mitho’s role in forced conversion – speaking with grief, “not a single person helps us when Mian Mitho converts our Hindu girls. The system strengthens his illegal and inhuman actions.”
Shiva Kachhi, president of Pakistan Darawar Itehad Organization. He initiated the protest and presented 15 points – the demands addressed to the federal government and provincial government. The Sindh government promised to exert its efforts to ensure the demands, and the remaining demands for the federal government would be shared with them, said Shiva. He said if their demands were not met, they would lead a protest at Bilawal House, Chief Minister House, and Islamabad.
A mother at the protest, sobbing and asking; “I do not wish your Muslim daughter to go through the same situation as our Hindu daughters are made to suffer. Are Hindu daughters not important?”
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