The kidnapping of a Hindu girl by an "influential" Muslim man in Pakistan's Punjab province has sparked outrage with community members staging a protest in Lahore on Thursday, blocking the city's main road to press the Imran Khan government to recover her safely.
Holding placards and banners, Hindu community members at Rahim Yar Khan, some 400-km from Lahore, were demanding that the17-year-old be returned home. The protesters ended demonstration after police assured justice
According to the police complaint, the girl was kidnapped by Tahir Tamri, with the help of his father and brothers last month. It said the kidnappers took the girl to Karachi and converted her. She was given a Muslim name after the accused married her.
Rahim Yar Khan police chief Umar Farooq Salamat said a police team has been sent to Karachi to locate the girl. "A police team of RYK is present in Karachi to trace the girl and the suspect and hopefully we will soon trace them," he said.
Last month, two Hindu teenage sisters were allegedly kidnapped by a group of "influential" men from their home in Ghotki district in Sindh on the eve of Holi. Soon after the kidnapping, a video went viral in which a cleric was purportedly shown soleminising the marriage of the two girls, triggering a nationwide outrage.
In its annual report, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) this week raised concerns about incidents of forced conversions and marriages of Hindu and Christian girls, saying around 1,000 such cases were reported in the southern Sindh province alone last year.
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