AFTER an alleged Sikh girl’s alleged forced interfaith marriage that sparked local protests last week, Sikh leaders from outside Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) arrived on Monday to protest what they called “forced conversions and marriages »Girls from their community.
Even when Shiromani leader Akali Dal (SAD) Manjinder Singh Sears and several other Sikh leaders arrived in Srinagar on Monday, local Sikh leaders warned against “people from outside taking advantage of the situation for their political interests.”
On Saturday, the local Sikh community said an 18-year-old Sikh girl had been “forcibly given in marriage” to a Muslim in Srinagar earlier this month. While the girl was here in court, her family and other community members staged a street protest. Later, the girl was handed over to her parents.
Speaking with Indian expressJagmohan Singh Raina, president of the All-Party Sikh Coordination Committee in Kashmir, said the police did not allow the girl’s parents to enter the court. “They (the girl’s parents) called some of their relatives and friends; other members of the Sikh community also left the courthouse and started protesting, ”he said.
“When I was informed, I called LG’s advisor (Bazeer Ahmad Khan, adviser to the lieutenant governor). Manoj Sinha). It was late evening. I also went to court. The local policeman said that the girl would be returned to the family if the protesters dispersed … I convinced them (the protesters) and the police returned the girl, ”he said.
Although the police did not officially comment on the matter, police sources said that the girl was brought to court to record her statement, and she told the magistrate that she had married of her own free will. On Monday, the girl’s and the man’s family members were not available for comment.
Meanwhile, speaking at a press conference in Srinagar, Sears said four Sikh girls were “forcibly converted and married” in Jammu and Kashmir and demanded that “a law prohibiting conversion” be passed.
But local Sikh leaders said they knew of only two such cases – last week’s incident and an old incident. “What can we do in this (old) case… They have a valid marriage and conversion certificate,” Raina said.
An alleged video clip of the old case was shared on social media on Monday. In the video, a woman who introduced herself as Damnit said she converted in 2012 and married of her own free will in 2014.
In warning of “outside interference,” Raina said, “People from the outside are using the situation for their own political interests. They want to aggravate the situation here … RSS-people have already arrived here … We will not let them inflate the situation. We have a strong bond with the majority here. “
Meanwhile, here in Gurdwar, a delegation from the Council of Ulema met with the leaders of the Sikhs. “In the direction of Mirwaiz (Umar Faruk) Sahib, we went to meet with the leaders of the Sikhs, including Sears. They were in a hurry because they had another meeting, ”said Syed Rehamn Shams, secretary of the Muttahid Mejlis of Ulema (MMU). “We have assured them that they will conduct a proper investigation of the incident and make every effort to correct any violations,” he said.
Raina said Muslim leaders have postponed their response. “Why were they silent? They answered late. Their silence allowed outsiders to take advantage of the situation, ”he said. “Several leaders called me today, including Mirwaiz (Umar Farouk) Sahib and Mufti Nasir-ul-Islam,” he said.