Anusha Meghwar, a 16-year-old girl belonging to the Meghwal tribe in Salam Kot area in Tharparkar, was “forcibly married” after her “conversion” to Islam, it was reported.
According to the Sindh Child Marriage Restraint Act 2013, a “child” can be defined as a “female or male under the age of 18 years” and “whoever, being a male above 18 years of age, contracts a child marriage shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment which may extend to three years but shall not be less than two years” and is also liable to fine.
The incident incited anger in the Hindu community.
Kapil Dev, a Hindu activist, noted that it is because of such incidents that “Pakistani Hindus [choose to] leave their motherland”.
Those who ask me why Pakistani Hindus leave their motherland, they must know this reason!
Another Hindu girl, Anusha Meghwar, 16, becomes victim of forced conversion and marriage. According to Sindh Child Marriage Restraint Act any marriage under 18 years is illegal. pic.twitter.com/RsEAZ8Di4o
— Kapil Dev (@KDSindhi) January 20, 2019
Reham Khan also condemned the “disgusting” forced marriage and noted that “there will be no action taken as politics comes first for all players”.
Another case of a Hindu female child forcefully converted & married off. Disgusting but there will be no action taken as politics comes first for all players.#Islamkot #Tharparker #Sindh pic.twitter.com/nPs7076Uf5
— Reham Khan (@RehamKhan1) January 20, 2019
It is pertinent to note that this is not a standalone incident; the Hindu community in Sindh face persecution through “forceful conversions” and “child marriages”. Last year, a court in Mithi had handed two-year sentences to four people over their involvement in marrying a 14-year-old to a 55-year-old man.