Diplo town of Tharparkar shut over conversion of Hindu woman – 17 Apr 2023

MITHI: All business and commercial activities in the Diplo town of Tharparkar remained suspended on Sunday due to a strike observed by people on a call given by the Naujawan Ittehad and supported by the local chapters of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, Awami Tehreek and some other parties over alleged forced conversion of a Hindu woman, who married to a Muslim man recently.

The protest was prompted by reports that the Hindu woman, Summan Lohana, embraced Islam to marry her friend SajjadMehar a few days back. It was reported that Summan adopted Kainat as her Islamic name after her conversion and marriage.

A rally was taken out from the main chowk of the town to protest, what the organisers claimed, increasing incidents of `forced conversion` of Hindu girlsin the province.

Led by Ramesh Asrani, Arbab Imran, Arbab Samiullah, Imran Baghi, Advocate Keemat Rai and others, the protesters marched on various roads before converging at the main chowk in the town. They kept raising slogans for protection of minority communities and effective measures to stop `forced conversion` ofHinduwomen.

They also called for a ban on jirgas, held in different areas of the province to settle matters involving land disputes, murders, kidnappings and other sensitive issues including handing over of underage girls to the men from aggrieved sides as punishment.

The leaders alleged that Summan, a Hindu resident of Diplo, was lured into a love affair by Sajjad Mahar, a resident of Ghotki district, and then forced to convert to Islam for marriage.

They also noted that some `controversial religious figures of Ghotki` were welcoming such conversions and marriages.They demanded a check on the activities of such people.

They also condemned unlawful, unethical and inhuman decrees often passed by influential feudal lords while chairing jirgas to impose their decisions on rival sides.

They demanded a strict ban on allsorts ofjirgas and punishment to those influential figures who had already imposed their unlawful decrees on people.

They said law of the land should prevail across the country.

They forcefully demanded security for minorities and proper protection to their family members from excesses on the part of feudal lords and mem-bers of other community in the interest of communal harmony.

The protesters` leaders claimed that many Hindu girls had in the past been converted and several others committed suicide in mysterious circumstances.

They demanded a fair investigation into each case of Hindu women`s suicide and steps to check the trend, particularly in Tharparkar district.

They lashed out at certain human and women rights activists and leaders of political parties and civil society organisations for their indifferent attitude towards growing incidents of suicide and conversion in this desert district.

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