- 23/04/2012 - 09:48 AM GMT+01:00
Hindus say the forcible conversions follow the same script: The victim, abducted by a young man related to or working for a feudal boss, is taken to a mosque where clerics, along with the prospective groom's family, threaten to harm her and her relatives if she resists. Almost always, the girl complies, and not long afterward, she is brought to a local court, where a judge, usually a Muslim, rubber-stamps the conversion and marriage, according to Hindu community members who have attended such hearings.
Rachna Kumari, 16, was shopping for dresses in this city's dust-choked bazaar when it happened.
The man who her family says abducted her was not a street thug. He was a police officer.
Nor was he a stranger. Rachna's family knew and trusted him. He guarded the Hindu temple run by her father, an important duty in a society where Hindus are often terrorized by Muslim extremists, and he had helped Rachna cram for her ninth-grade final exams.
After she disappeared from the market, he did not demand a ransom. According to her family, he had an entirely different purpose: to force her to convert to Islam and marry him.
In a country where Hindu-dominated India is widely reviled as Enemy No. 1, Pakistan's Hindu community endures extortion, disenfranchisement and other forms of discrimination