–Basanti Devi says she ‘willingly converted from Hinduism, married Zeeshan’
FAISALABAD: A woman belonging to the Hindu community, who had allegedly been abducted last week, has revealed that she had embraced Islam and married a Muslim boy.
The woman, Ayesha (previously Basanti Devi), a student of Zoology at University of Agriculture Faisalabad, had gone missing while on her way back home from the varsity on April 29. It was reported last Friday that her brother, Lal Krishan, had registered a case of abduction against unidentified persons at the Civil Lines police station and said that he could not get through to her even on phone.
With the police starting to search for the missing woman, she was finally recovered from Toba Tek Singh. Following her recovery, the 22-year-old along with her husband was presented before media at a presser held at the Civil Lines police station.
Speaking at the occasion, Ayesha said she had testified before a court that she accepted Islam and later married Zeeshan with her own will. She also demanded from the government to provide her and her in-laws with security, fearing life threats.
Meanwhile, Civil Lines SP while speaking to Pakistan Today said the further course of action on the registered FIR would be determined while considering that the woman is an adult and has her own CNIC card. “She will once again be presented in front of a court and any further action would come in the light of her statement.”
“Ayesha has already appeared before the Bahawalpur bench of the high court and said that she did everything with her own will. She has also told the police that she converted to Islam as well as married Zeeshan without any pressure and approached the court only after she feared her and her in-laws’ life was in danger,” the official added.
It may be noted that the case, which appears to be the first of its kind within the past several years, has surfaced amid the rising numbers of reports pertaining to “enforced conversions” in the country. In June 2017, a 16-year-old Hindu girl, Ravita Meghwar, was allegedly abducted by men in Sindh. Within hours, Ravita had apparently embraced Islam. The woman, now Gulnaz, had then married a Muslim man.
The next day she told media representatives that she had accepted Islam and married the man without any pressure. But Meghwar’s parents had reported the suspects, claimed that their daughter was a minor, and demanded her safe recovery. Countering the claims, Gulnaz’s husband had submitted an application to the Sindh High Court (SHC) seeking protection from her family and relatives. The case was settled on June 23 when SHC allowed the woman to go with her husband.
Similarly, in early 2012, a young Hindu girl called Rinkle Kumari was forced to convert to Islam, but the case had ended with Kumari going to live with her husband in the end.