Support family of Sikh girl who was married to an elderly Muslim man
Kashmir-based religious bodies on Monday expressed their support to the Sikh community, a day after the community leaders alleged that a girl was forced to marry a Muslim man and converted to Islam.
“Sikh brethren are a part and parcel of Kashmir’s society. There is no place for forcible conversion in Islam and reports of forcible conversion of Sikh girl to other religion on a gun-point can never be considered as a conversion in Islamic jurisprudence,” J&K’s grand mufti Nasir-ul-Islam said.
He urged an impartial inquiry into the matter. “Kashmir is known for maintaining communal harmony for years together and Sikhs are important part of Kashmir’s age-old culture, ethos and communal brotherhood. No one will be allowed to play with the faith of Sikh brethren,” Mr. Islam said.
Teams of the Mutahida Majlis-e-Ulema (MMU), an amalgam of religious leaders and religious bodies, also visited the family of the Sikh girl who was allegedly forced to marry a elderly Muslim man. “We have taken a serious note of the issue. We will ensure that the Sikh community is assured full support of Muslims. Islam does not believe in coercion,” an MMU spokesman said.
Mufti Anayatullah, Imam at the Markazi Jamia Masjid-Jammu, said the allegations of forceful conversion were serious and has no place in Islamic principals. “I have strong reasons to believe that the incident is completely private in nature but certain elements are trying to give it a religious colour. I request the administration to hold an impartial investigation in the matter,” he said.
National Conference’s Omar Abdullah and Peoples Democratic Party’s Mehbooba Mufti alleged that an attempt was being made to divide the people in J&K.
“The authorities should move quickly to investigate the recent cause of tension and if anyone has broken the law the should be prosecuted and necessary punishment handed out. Any move to drive a wedge between Sikhs and Muslims in Kashmir will cause irreparable harm to J&K,” Mr. Abdullah said.
Ms. Mufti said she hoped the investigation agency will get to the bottom of the issue.
Jagmohan Singh Raina, president of the All Party Sikh Coordination Committee (APSCC), said the community was agitating over the “forcible” marriage of a Sikh girl from Rainawari area of Srinagar.
“This forced marriage was pre-planned and backed by some powerful people. The girl’s parents were not allowed to go inside the court. The girl was forced to sign marriage papers. we want an end to such incidents,” Mr. Raina told The Hindu.
Meanwhile, the police said it has handed over the girl to the family. “We saw two to three such cases in the past one year. People are disturbing the communal harmony. Since ages we have been living together with brotherhood and this age-old bond cannot be broken with such conspiracies. The accused should be arrested as soon as possible and tried in the court of law for abduction and forcible marriage,” he added.