Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Rinkal Kumari Case
I belong to the land where Sufism and secularism have deep roots. Whenever I see and read about my land it gives me courage that I have healthy possession, while reading poetry of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai who talks about Sufism and women’s empowerment, without any sanctions where women can listen their hearts’ voice.
Not only my childhood is eye-witness in my home city Shikarpur, I have had never seen discrimination on religious basis. Still I am astonished when I read one paragraph by a Pakistani columnist who wrote that Shikarpur has culture of Madarrasas, I think that writer must have seen heart of Sindh instead of controlled and exploited tricks by ill-minds.
In our country, violence on non-Muslims, (honestly; I dissent word of minority) is not a new thing, as we all know that Pakistan was achieved in the name of Islam. I am not going into depth; for a while leave this chapter and come to the crux stratum. Whatever we talk, fact is totally different that in the name of religion exploitation runs in Pakistan and all citizens are being victimized, whether they are non-Muslims or Muslim.
Nowadays power politics game has turned towards Hindus and day by day they are being treated like aliens and enemies of the country. In November last year a bloody-incident took place in Shikarpur where four respectable Hindus i-e Sindhis– were killed, point was not raised anywhere, and no suo motu taken. Mostly Hindus are leaving their homeland because they are feeling insecure. None has questioned why are they leaving the land and where is justice?
After such like incidents we again saw the kidnapping of Rinkal Kumari on Feb 25. A news report says: “A local court of Mirpur Mathelo, Ghotki district, allowed on Monday an 18-year-girl, whose actual name was Rinkal Kumari and was named as Faryal after being forced to embrace Islam, to live with her husband Naveed Shah, whom she had married after eloping with four days back. The court of District and Sessions Judge recorded the statements of Rinkal Kumari alias Faryal and her husband when the police produced the girl in court. She stated that nobody had kidnapped her and she embraced Islam and married Naveed Shah on her own.
Rinkal Kumari and her husband Naveed Shah accompanied by some other persons from Bharchundi Shareef, lazed with guns, where the girl had embraced Islam, appeared in a civil court of Ghotki. Noticing that the girl was confused, the court allowed her two hours to meet parents as well as husband and make her mind. Later, the court sent her to women prison, Sukkur, under police custody from where she was produced in the court of District and Sessions Judge Ghotki at Mirpur Mathelo. The court also ordered withdrawal of kidnapping case registered against Naveed Shah. After the court decision, Naveed Shah, his lawyers and Pirs of Bharchundi left the court in procession. Strict security was maintained in Mirpur Mathelo for which police force from 11 police stations was called, as tension has been prevailing in the town since Friday last. The police had also blocked certain roads putting containers. Meanwhile, the businessmen of Hindu community kept their business closed for consecutive fourth day as a protest against what they alleged kidnapping of their girl and forced conversion to Islam.”
After this report I had telephonic conversation with Rinkal Kumari’s uncle Raj Kumar who is leading this case. This case is being painted by media as love affair and that girl was not kidnapped. Another picture of case tells that Rinkal Kumari was not involved with Naveed Shah, in fact he always harassed and threatened her. Rinkal Kumari was kidnapped from her home. I asked Raj Kumar that some sources say that she was involved through SMSs. He replied it was totally false, her father is primary school teacher and you know the condition of Hindus, how we are surviving? How is it possible that Rinkal’s father affords cell phone those have no access of PTCL service. Rinkal has no access to cell phone.
Mian Abdul Haq alias Mian Metho, MNA, belonging to PPP — is fully supporting this case, even during hearing in court we were not allowed to enter the court. In second session we were allowed. Though our daughter was requesting that she wanted to go with her parents and when we talked to Rinkal, she said that “they had kidnapped me, I am innocent; please take me with you (family).” She told them they have threatened her, if I go against them and give statement against their will they will burn Hindus’ homes and kill my family, she said weeping. “Tell me what should I have done?” Raj Kumar said.
He further added, she was kidnapped on February 25, 2012, and one of her shoes was left on ladder and second was lying on the ground of home with her Dopatta, what you should call it, he asked a question.
He asked that what reaction of Judge was when Rinkal Kumari was slapped in the Court. He said, Judge told me, “Look Mr, Raj Kumar you and I both are local people and Mian Metho’s people, around 8,000 to 10,000 equipped with guns are standing outside, and if I go in favour of you, it would lead to killing of people. We are poor and powerless people. That was the reason the local judge went against us and will of Rinkal Kumari, instead of sending her to Darul Amman he sent her to Sukkur Police from where she is taken back to Mirpur Mathelo. It shows Police and Courts are under control of Mian Metho, said Raj Kumar. He criticised media of being afraid of Mian Metho and none is ready to report reality, our voice is missing on media. He demanded: “I beg to high authorities of Pakistan and President of Pakistan that kindly help us, we will prefer to die but never take off hand on our demand for our daughter’s return.”
The local newspapers have reported the case as love marriage case, and because of this reason politicians avoid to talk on it. What can I say on Urdu electronic media, those prefer to talk on many issues but they are ignoring the issue of Rinkal Kumari. Media is seen worried about unnecessary cases about Maya Khan, Vena Malik and Memo gate. It is bitter reality that on electronic media issues are being discussed which have NOC (No-Objection-Certificate from hidden hands) and those having no NOC, are not discussed at all. Sadly, Rinkal Kumari’s case has got no NOC from any higher authority.
Question arises, why such incidents are happening in Sindh and especially by PPP unpopular members; one Chak incident Babol Bhayo in Shikapur and second Mian Metho MNA, PPP. One thinks it is pre-planned for creating disturbances in Sindh and to force Hindus leave their homeland, an effort to reduce vote bank of PPP in Sindh because PPP has majority of Non-Muslims.
Therefore, both these incidents have been planned to disturb Hindus and its benefit will go to other forces than PPP.
If this thinking is true then what is People’s Party doing? Why they do not expel black sheep from its fold?
In feudalism, Autaq culture is well known where Waderas and Chaudhries discuss topics of their interest. Therefore, there is a differentiate between Autaqs and courts. Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhury took suo motu notice of Waheeda Shah slapping a polling official during by-election to Sindh Assembly seat but what about Chak incident where four Hindus were slaughtered and Rinkal Kumari who was slapped in a local court.
Rinkal Kumari’s case is a simple case of kidnapping and harassment. If the girl wanted to go to her home, why she was not allowed to go with her parents? It is a fact that after Chak incident Hindus are very careful, so how it was possible that Rinkal Kumari could have taken such a step.
And who has given certificate to Mian Metho that he is protecting and converting people to Islam? This is people’s own will and must not be converted at gun point. Where is the law to stop such actions where people are being forced to accept Islam?
I bet if you call politicians and seek their comments on Rinkal Kumari’s case, their reply will be: “We condemn it.” But victimized people do not need condemnation alone; they need action and practical work.
How can we forget when Mian Metho’s father and his followers had opened fire on Sufi Bhagat Kanwal Ram on May 2, 1939. Fears forecast that Rinkal Kumari would get serious threats to her life. I am not sure what will happen to Rinkal Kumari?
We can knock door of people having humanitarian heart and request them, wake up and save innocent girl who is jailed in the Autaq of Mian Metho.
Will Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry take suo motu notice of abduction and forced conversion of Rinkal Kumari to Islam?
Published in The Frontier Post on 12th/March/2012 http://www.thefrontierpost.com/?p=113558