By Poviet Kaur
Amid the controversy over two Sikh women being forcefully converted to Islam and married to Muslim men in Jammu and Kashmir, one of the girl named Manmeet Kaur remarried a man from the Sikh community in the presence of her parents and community leaders on Tuesday, 27 June, just two days after being ‘handed over’ to her family by the police.
26-year-old Manmeet Kaur, a resident of Srinagar, who was said to be a minor by her parents on which still speculations are going on had earlier married a Kashmiri Muslim, a marriage the family claimed was a case of “forced conversion” later on when asked whether the girl was already married, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) Delhi president Paramjit Singh told reporters that no marriage had taken place.
Soon after the marriage took place, the girl was sent out of the valley along with her family.
The women is still not available to comment on the issue and clarify whether it was a forced conversion or she did it all with a free will.
Protests had broken out in several parts of the country against the alleged forced conversion of the two women and demanding a law against inter-faith marriage for J&K.
Later on, Paramjit Singh said, “The majority community has to take care of the minority community. A law can’t do it but only mutual love and brotherhood can do it.”
Along with Manmeet, another 28-year-old woman Dhanmeet who married a Kashmiri Muslim in 2014, has dismissed the allegation of forced conversion and said that she has married the man out of her own free will and has the right to choose her religion and partner.
In Manmeet’s case, 29-year-old Shahid Nazir Bhat has been arrested as the main culprit and is facing charges of kidnapping and abduction.A complaint of abduction was lodged against Manmeet’s then claimed husband Shahid by her parents, after which he was also arrested. “He (Shahid) is presently on police remand,” superintendent of police (Srinagar), said.
It is still not known immediately whether Manmeet had married Shahid.
In Dhanmeet’s case, Officials said Dhanmeet got married to a Srinagar resident identified as Muzaffar Ahmad (30) in 2014 and was arrested on the complaint of abduction filed by Dhanmeet’s parents.
A senior police officer said Muzaffar, Danmeet’s husband, is presently lodged in Srinagar’s Central Jail.
A selfie-video that has gone viral on social media in Kashmir shows Danmeet saying, “I am Danveet. I converted in 2012. I entered into nikkah with my batchmate Zaffer in 2014. The nikkah took place with my consent.”
“On June 6, 2021 I left my home and I called my family that I have left on my own and don’t pursue me,” she says.
“Within two hours the police located me and took me to the police station Saddar. Once I reached the police station there were sikh community members and my family. After that the SHO took my statement. He was only taking my oral statement. I told him to take my written statement, but he didn’t. I told him I converted in 2012 and in 2014 I have entered into nikkah. In spite of listening to this the boy (Zaffar) was put into lockup,” she said.
“I told the police I am not a kid. And why they are handing over me to my family. Without taking my written statement the police handed me over to my family. The very next day my family took me to Jammu and from there to Punjab,” the girl says.
“In Punjab different Sikh federations came to meet me. They would tell me to give a different statement. They would tell me to speak against the boy. I, however, told them we have the court documents and the case registered against the boy (Zaffar) is false.”
The investigation of the cases is still going on and the story is still developing. Till now the investigation by J&K Police has ruled out the use of force against the women and called it “all rubbish”.
“There is no evidence to suggest the use of force. What they have done was out of their own will,” the officer said.