Sikh girls religious conversion: Protests broke out in Kashmir over the weekend after the alleged forced religious conversion of two Sikh girls. Reports surfacing suggest the girls were allegedly kidnapped, forcibly converted and married off without the consent of families.
Sikh communities including the Akal Takht and Shiromani Akali Dal have demanded safety measures in the valley for the protection of minorities, calling for the imposition of anti-conversion laws.
As per SAD leader Manjinder Sirsa, who led the protests, Home Minister Amit Shah has assured the girls will be returned to their families. A Sikh delegation will meet to discuss minority concerns in Jammu and Kashmir, he added. Lieutenant Governor of J&K Manoj Sinha has also taken cognisance of the matter of girls’ safety.
“Just had a tele-conversation with Home Min @AmitShah Ji w.r.t to the issue of Sikh girls forcibly married & converted in Srinagar. He assured us that he is monitoring the situation closely,” Sirsa tweeted Monday.
•@AmitShah Ji has assured us about the safety of minority Sikh girls in the valley & that the girls would be soon returned to their families. He has given time to meet Jammu& Kashmir Sikh delegation soon to discuss the ground issues and address the minority’s concerns@ANI https://t.co/zlf9pwVoSK pic.twitter.com/GqSFUDYqBA
— Manjinder Singh Sirsa (@mssirsa) June 28, 2021
Sikh Girls Religious Conversion In Valley, SAD Leaders Say Centre Is Assuring Action
One of the girls, an 18-year-old allegedly mentally unstable, was forced to perform nikaah with a married man aged 62. Times of India reports the court validated their marriage on Saturday, without the girl’s parents being allowed a say in the matter. The second girl allegedly went missing after attending an event with a friend.
“When we protested outside the court only then was one of the girls was handed over to us. It was a forced conversion,” Sirsa said, as per Hindustan Times.
Sikh leaders, speaking to Lt Gov Sinha, urged for a ‘love jihad’ law to be implemented in Kashmir as has been done in other states like Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. Sirsa told media that though Sinha did not commit to an anti-conversion law similar to other states, a law preventing forced conversions will be considered.