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Hindu Human Rights - Guest - 12-30-2005

<i>Every practicing Hindus has the right for a worthy last sacrament. Also in Malaysia. It is not as natural and universal as it may sound in Malaysia. Witness the following article.</i>

<b>Interfaith group to hold candlelight vigil</b>

A group representing four major religions in the country will be holding a candlelight vigil tonight in front of the Kuala Lumpur High Court. Source: www.malaysiakini.com

After eight days of impasse over his religious status, M. Moorthy was finally buried today as a Muslim. This followed a High Court ruling that it had no jurisdiction to review a Syariah Court decision that he had converted to Islam. High Court judge Datuk Mohd Raus Shariff said that Article 121(1A) of the Constitution stated clearly that the civil court had no jurisdiction on matters pertaining to Islam, which should be handled by the Syariah Court. His decision ended a tussle between Moorthys family, who insisted he died a Hindu, and the Federal Territory Islamic Affairs Council, which argued that he had converted to Islam. But the High Court decision is not likely to end the larger debate thrown up by this case, on the rights of non-Muslims in such cases. Moorthy, 36, had been in the intensive care unit since Nov 11 after sustaining a head injury in a fall from his wheelchair at a friends house in Rawang. The former commando was paralysed after a training accident seven years ago. After the decision was handed down, Moorthys body was taken from the Kuala Lumpur Hospital mortuary to the Tanah Perkuburan Islam Ibukota, Setapak, where he was interred under tight security.

<b>PRAYERS AT GRAVESIDE:</b> Moorthys elder brother Mohd Hussin Abdullah (left) at the cemetery in Setapak yesterday. In dismissing the application by Moorthys widow, S. Kaliammal, Raus noted that the main issue brought before him was whether Moorthy had converted to Islam or was still a Hindu. "The civil court has no jurisdiction to review the Syariah High Court decision," he told a packed courtroom. Raus also said although there were affidavits filed by Kaliammal, her brother and a friend stating that Moorthy participated in Hindu rituals, the question of jurisdiction to decide the matter still lay with the Syariah court and not the civil court. For this reason, he said, he could only grant one relief sought by the widow that she was the deceaseds lawful wife until the time of his death on Dec 20.

Kaliammal, in her originating summons filed on Wednesday, sought a declaration that Moorthy was a Hindu and followed Hindu rituals, a declaration Moorthy was not a Muslim, and a declaration that documents proving Moorthys conversion were null and void. After the judge handed down his decision, M. Manoharan, lawyer for the widow, applied unsuccessfully for a stay of execution for them to appeal to the Court of Appeal. Despite losing the case, Kaliammal said Moorthys soul was with her.

Moorthys wife (left) being led away after the courts decision.

He was buried at 2.45pm. Some 100 people, including his former army colleagues, friends, police personnel and members of the media, were present. None of Moorthys family members attended the burial ceremony except for his brother, Mohd Hussin Abdullah, and the latters teenage son. Hussin, 48, who converted to Islam in 1981, said he was not aware that Moorthy had become a Muslim. "I only found out about this when he died and was surprised. "He never mentioned anything about this to me, "But theres no point in pursuing this matter any further. I hope they can accept the decision reached by the court," he said after the funeral. "This is the end of the story as far as I am concerned. The court has made a ruling."


<b>Inter-faith group: Amend Constitution</b>


An inter-faith group today urged the Government to amend the Constitution to give the High Court the power to decide if a person has become a Muslim convert. The statement from the Malaysian onsultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and Sikhism followed a High Court ruling today that it did not have the power to disturb a finding by the Syariah court on Thursday that M. Moorthy had become a Muslim. In a statement, the council said it took the view that it was wrong for the Syariah court to have "assumed jurisdiction over persons who do not profess Islam and where its orders directly affect thes rights of the family members of a person, all of whom do not profess Islam". It called on the Government to amend Article 121(1)(A) of the Constitution, which states that all matters pertaining to Islam should be handled by the Syariah court. "We call on the Government to urgently cure this grave defect in our legal system by making the necessary amendments to the Federal Constitution and all other legislation so that jurisdiction to determine the validity of conversion into and out of Islam are vested in the High Court where all Malaysians can be parties and have equal rights as witnesses," said the council. MCCBCHS president Dr K. Sri Dhammananda said the court decision implied there was no legal remedy for non-Muslims in such cases. "This is the biggest seed of disunity that can be sown at this time," he said. Also present at the Press conference were MCCBCHS vice-president Harcharan Singh, Datuk A. Vaithilingam, Archbishop Murphy Pakiam and Reverend Wong Kim Kong, secretary-general of the National Evangelical Christian Fellowship. Source: New Straits Times

<i> If you want to display you support to the family, the interfaith group, please send an email to: info@agni.nl
</i>


Hindu Human Rights - Guest - 12-30-2005

<b>My People Uprooted - The Saga of the Hindus of Eastern Bengal </b>
by Shri Tathagata Roy

http://www.bengalvoice.com


Hindu Human Rights - Guest - 12-30-2005

White, Slav and a steadfast Hindu
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> A gathering campaign by British parliamentarians is set to tell an astonished world that Russia's Hindus – white, Slav and steadfast in their faith – are living symbols of state oppression in a country counted as one of the world's eight most advanced and industrialised economies. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->


Hindu Human Rights - Bharatvarsh - 01-03-2006

Woman alleges daughter's abduction, conversion
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 1
Accusing the Punjab Police of inaction, a woman here has levelled allegations of abduction, forcible conversion, illegal marriage and desolation, followed by physical exploitation, of her only daughter against a Muslim family of Malerkotla.

She has urged religious, social and human rights organisations to rescue her daughter, who according to her would be sold by her captors.

The police, terming the issue as sensitive, however claimed that action would be taken after taking opinion of religious leaders of the Muslim community as the victim was now a member of the same community. According to Ms Nirmala Devi Verma, a Muslim family of nearby Malerkotla town had allegedly abducted and forcibly converted her daughter Reema (fake name) with an intention to push her into flesh trade.

Reema, a graduate trained teacher cum computer engineer, and a sister of two brothers was "hooked" by Latif Mohamad, son of a sawmill owner of Malerkotla town last year, when her mother had been admitted to a private hospital there.

Having received during hospitalisation an extraordinarily generous behaviour from Latif and other members of his family, including wife, two children, parents and siblings, Nirmala accepted him as her third son. "We remained in dark till October 2005, when Latif and his wife had taken Reema to their family on the pretext of marriage of his sister but got her married to him after forcibly converting her religion on the basis of a sworn affidavit attested by a Notary Public at Malerkotla.

"After waiting for a couple of days, I went to their home to meet my daughter but was beaten by Latif and other members of his family and was captivated there," alleged Nirmala.

She was got released by a police party that was called by residents of the area.

Lamenting the callous attitude of all approached by her, Ms Verma said, "It is a pity that despite being a member of a reputable Hindu family I have to run from pillar to post to seek justice for my daughter, who has been exploited both physically and psychologically." She apprehended that Reema, if not rescued soon, would be sold off by her captors.

The police on the other hand claimed that it had already started investigations into the charges leveled by Ms Verma and her daughter.

Mr Rachhpal Singh, DSP, Malerkotla, said he had deputed a senior investigation officer to verify the facts.

"As it was a sensitive issue involving families from two different communities, we have to take opinion of religious leaders also," said Mr Singh.

He further said the suspects had claimed before the police that Reema now known as Alina had voluntarily adopted Islam as her religion and got married with Latif.

"Even now when she has been divorced by our son, we have been allowing her to stay at our home as a goodwill gesture," the parents of Latif told the police.

Accusing the police of inaction, Ms Verma has now urged the religious, social and human Right organisations to impress upon the authorities to rescue her daughter.
http://www.tribuneindia.com/2006/20060102/ldh1.htm#4


By the way Malerkotla is Muslim majority (70% Muslim) even now and is one of the 2 Muslim majority areas in Punjab, Muslims were spared here during partition because the Nawab of this area requested protection by saying that during the bricking up of Guru Govinds 2 younger sons the ruler of Malerkotla protested against it and that they should be spared (atleast thats what I read), now it is coming back to bite Hindus in the ass.


Hindu Human Rights - Guest - 01-03-2006

<b>Personal Thought: Agony of Hindus in Pak </b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->It is tragic that though Hinduism proclaims universal brotherhood and oneness of humanity, and addresses entire humanity as divine children (Shrunvantu vishve amrutsya putraha Rig Veda: 10-13-1), Hindus are being treated with disdain and discrimination, and are being denied even the basic human rights in Pakistan and Bangladesh which used to be Hindu lands.
Let us see the plight of Hindus in these nations vis-a-vis the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted and proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948, "as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations".

As per Article 1 of this Declaration, "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights." Article 2 specifies, "Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion ...." Article 3 stipulates: "Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person." Article 7 stresses equality before law, and protection against discrimination. And Article 18 makes the tall statement, "Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion."

Few centuries ago, Hindu religion and culture used to reverberate from Afghanistan to Indonesia. Indian sub-continent including the present day India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Afghanistan and even Zabol in Iran was Hindu land, and had no Muslim presence till Muslims attacked the sub-continent in 8th century. Hindus lost Afghanistan to Muslims in 987. After many centuries, Muslims got Pakistan in 1947.

Pakistan comprised of two segments: East Pakistan and West Pakistan. In 1971, East Pakistan became Bangladesh, a separate country. Both Pakistan and Bangladesh have been declared as Islamic republics.

Hindus have always been threatened and discriminated against in Pakistan and Bangladesh on religious grounds. Though in 1947, Hindus accounted for 24 per cent of the then Pakistan's population, now number under two per cent. Situation is equally grave in Bangladesh where Hindus numbered 30 per cent in 1947, but now number nine per cent. However, in India, the present percentage of Muslim population is much higher than that in 1947.

Pakistan and Bangladesh have yet to explain what they have done to their Hindu population.

Hindus suffer constant threats to their lives, security and property in Pakistan and Bangladesh. Many Hindu temples have been desecrated and destroyed in Pakistan and Bangladesh. There are regular reports of illegal encroachments on Hindu temples and lands, looting of Hindu property, discrimination, persecution, molestation and abduction of Hindu girls both in Pakistan and Bangladesh.

<b>Forcible conversions and marriages</b>

The alarming trend of Muslims kidnapping young Hindu girls and forcing them to convert to Islam is tormenting Hindus in Pakistan and Bangladesh.

As reported in Pakistan's premier English daily The Dawn dated November 3, 2005, 19 Hindu girls mostly from Punjab Colony, Karachi were missing from their homes. Relatives of these girls had reason to believe that they had been kidnapped and were being forced to change their religion, the press release added.

Recently, Irfan Husain's article entitled "Conversion Losses" has been published in The Dawn (dated December 3, 2005) http://www.dawn.com/weekly/mazdak/20051203.htm which relates tragedy of Hindu parents in Karachi whose three young daughters Reena, Usha and Rima of marriageable age vanished in October, 2005.

In a few days, the shocked parents received a courier package containing three identical affidavits from their daughters stating that they had converted to Islam and, therefore, could not live with their Hindu parents. As reported in the said article, father of the girls told the columnist, "We just sit and stare at each other. For us, life is over."

The ongoing trend in Pakistan and Bangladesh indicates that the girls have been kidnapped, forcibly married, and coerced to convert, but as helpless Hindus in Pakistan, their parents have no hope for justice. And this can happen to any Hindu parent in Pakistan and Bangladesh.

<b>Discrimination and dispossession</b>

Discrimination against Hindus is a fact of life as also a fact of law in Pakistan and Bangladesh.

As per Constitution of Pakistan, only a Muslim can be the President or Prime Minister of Pakistan. As per Bangladeshi Constitution too, only a Muslim can be the head of the state.

After being driven out from Pakistan, Hindus are being driven out from Bangladesh. And their lands and properties are being taken over by the government (under the Vested Property Act) to be distributed among Muslims.

The Vested Property Act was passed in 1965 as "Enemy Property Act" when as East Pakistan, Bangladesh was part of Pakistan. This law legitimized confiscation of Hindu property. After emergence of Bangladesh in 1971, this Act was renamed as the Vested Property Act, and the state was made the owner of the Hindus' property.

The Vested Property Act in Bangladesh has legitimized the forcible forfeiture of millions of acres of ancestral Hindu land.

<b>Hindu genocide and persecution</b>

During 1970 and 1971, Hindus in East Pakistan (present Bangladesh) underwent massive massacres by the Pakistani army. Over two million Hindus are reported to have been killed in genocide of Hindus in East Pakistan during 1970 and 1971 leading to Indo-Pak war in 1971. Besides, countless Hindu women were raped and kidnapped during this period.

Though Amnesty International too has shown concern about the plight of Hindus in Bangladesh, Bangladesh government has done nothing to provide any relief to Hindus.

Hindus are facing genocide, terror, persecution, dishonour and atrocities in Bangladesh every day. And there is selective killing of Hindu judges, professionals, teachers, lawyers and civil servants in Bangladesh to snuff out any chance of Hindu resistance and leadership.

Hindus in Pakistan and Bangladesh are facing disaster as their life, liberty, honour and property are insecure because of state policies and public action.

<b>Way out</b>

Let not India abdicate its responsibility by doing nothing and saying nothing in the ongoing genocide, deprivation and disaster of Hindus in Pakistan and Bangladesh.

In 1950, Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan signed an agreement called as Nehru Liaqat Pact under which both the governments undertook to protect life, liberty, religion and safety of minorities in each other's country.

It is Indian government's legal and moral duty to ensure that as per the Nehru-Liaqat Pact of 1950, and as per the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Pakistan and Bangladesh treat their minorities in a human manner. India must also ask Bangladesh to repeal Vested Properties Act, and hand over to Hindus their lands and properties.

The United Nations Commission on Human Rights (CHR) must also be approached to redeem the situation. Denial of human rights to Hindus violates UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948.

<b>Conspiracy of silence </b>

It is tragic that the unprecedented and unending tragedy of Hindus of Pakistan and Bangladesh remains untold by Indian media.

Why this Indian media's conspiracy of silence about genocide and oppression of Hindus in Pakistan and Bangladesh? And why this suppression of information about persecution of Hindus? The world needs to know about pathetic Hindu plight in these lands.

Deprived of their basic rights in Pakistan and Bangladesh, Hindus have only the right to suffer and right to silence.

Killing of Hindus in Pakistan, in Bangladesh or even in India is not taken seriously by media, by government or by various political parties or by human rights industry in India.

Is it because for some sections in India, only the terrorists, anti-national elements and Pak-Bangla infiltrators are entitled to fundamental and human rights?

JG Arora
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->


Hindu Human Rights - Guest - 01-07-2006

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Massacre of Hindus in Balochistan by Pakistani Army -- VIDEO </b>

Dera Bugti Massacre Video Archive

“I have videos and some pictures as undeniable evidence of the killings.” “I can show it to the media; according to our reports, 32 Hindus and 27 Muslims were killed while 22 people were injured in the incident.” -- Nawab Akbar Bugti

On 17th March 2005, Pakistan's Paramilitary Forces, Started Shelling the town of Dera Bugti, more then 60 Civilians were killed in this indiscriminate Bombardment, among them 33 Hindus were killed

Pakistan's Electronic and print media denied this incident, which was caused by their own Army and security forces. A Local of Dera Bugti Made these Video's. We are providing few clips from the Video for downloads...

Details are only now available of the 10-hour-long battle between the Frontier Corps troops and Balochi nationalists belonging to the Bugti tribe on March 17,2005. Twenty-eight members of the Bugti tribe and 33 Hindus living under the protection of the tribe were killed during the exchange of fire. Of the Hindus killed, 19 were children.

http://intellibriefs.blogspot.com/2006/01/...chistan-by.html

<span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>VIDEO : WARNING GRAPHICS</span>
http://intellibriefs.com/baloch/derabugti_0.WMV
http://intellibriefs.com/baloch/derabugti_1.WMV
http://intellibriefs.com/baloch/derabugti_2.WMV
http://intellibriefs.com/baloch/derabugti_3.WMV
http://intellibriefs.com/baloch/derabugti_4.WMV
http://intellibriefs.com/baloch/derabugti_5.WMV
http://intellibriefs.com/baloch/derabugti_6.WMV
http://intellibriefs.com/baloch/derabugti_7.WMV
http://intellibriefs.com/baloch/derabugti_8.WMV
http://intellibriefs.com/baloch/derabugti_9.WMV
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->


Hindu Human Rights - Guest - 01-13-2006

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Malaysia's King Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin has been petitioned by Hindu groups about protecting the rights of minority religions.

The Hindu Rights Action Force says it approached the monarch after a dead man was given a Muslim burial despite his Hindu wife protesting.</b>

The coalition, which reportedly represents 35 different groups, delivered the six-page petition on Monday (09.01.06).

<b>Chairman P Waytha Moorthy told AFP: "We all felt that whenever there is a Hindu or rights issue concerning the minorities, the prime minister and the administration of the country have failed to address our problems.</b>

<b>"This is the first petition ever submitted to the king on a non-Muslim issue in a Muslim country like ours."</b>

He said people wanted the petition to inform the king that "his servants have failed in their duty to protect minority rights".

The petition was started when famous mountaineer and ex-army commander M Moorthy died last month.

<b>Islamic authorities claimed he had converted to Islam but his distraught wife insisted he hadn't.</b>

The battle was taken to the country's High Court, which decided it couldn't overrule the finding that the man had converted to Islam. A palace official has confirmed receiving the petition.

http://tinyurl.com/9h35h

<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->


Hindu Human Rights - Guest - 01-16-2006

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Title: Sindh's Stolen Brides
Author: Mariana Baabar
Publication: Outlook
Date: Jan 23, 2006
URL: http://www.outlookindia.com/full.asp?fodna...ver+Story&sid=1

Sindh's Stolen Brides

On the other side of the Thar, Hindus, especially girls, are forced into
Islam

MARIANA BAABAR

Hindus In Pakistan

    * Hindus constitute about 2.5 per cent, or 26 lakh, of Pakistans
population.

    * Though sprinkled all over Pakistan, 95 per cent of Hindus are in
Sindh.

    * Only Tharparkar district in Sindh has Hindus in majority: 51 per
cent.

    * Other districts with sizeable population: Mirpur Khas (41 per cent),
Sanghar (35 per cent), Umerkot (43 per cent)

    * Nearly 82 per cent of Pakistani Hindus are lower caste, most of them
farm labourers

    * Cities with some Hindu population: Karachi, Hyderabad, Jacobabad,
Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta.

    * In Tharparkar, Hindus own land. Krishen Bheel, Gyan Chand and Ramesh
Lal are the Hindus in the Pakistan National Assembly.

***

Let me confess at the outset: Im travelling in interior Sindh to verify
specifically the reported widespread menace of abduction of Hindu girls,
their forcible conversion to Islam and betrothal to Muslim men. My first
port of call is the district court of Mirpur Khas. I promptly mingle among
the crowd waiting for the courts decision on a kidnap-and-conversion
case. Different voices narrate contradictory stories. I am befuddled for
the moment.

Soon, a frisson of excitement sweeps through the throng, as a police van
drives through the gate. Inside it is Mariam. Shes 13 years oldand
married! Mariam was Mashu, and Hindu, till the night of December 22, 2005.
I pick my way through the jostling crowd. Mariam is in a red burqa, her
gold nose ring sparkles. She tells me, "Im happy. I dont want to return
to my parents or brother." Whats the fuss about, I wonder.

Its quite another story under the pipal tree of the court compound.
Huddled under it are the villagers of Jhaluree, 20 km from Mirpur Khas.
Among them is Mashus father, Malo Sanafravo. He says that at 11 pm,
December 22, four armed men barged into their room. One of them was Malos
neighbour, Akbar. They picked up Mashu, bundled her into the waiting car.
"She was taken to Pir Ayub Jan Sarhandis village in Somarho tehsil."
There Mashu became Mariam and was married to Akbar.

Not true, insists husband Akbar. "Mariam has been always in my heart," he
gushes, saying, at 11 pm, December 22, it was she who had come over to his
house. But its true that the Pir converted her and married themit was
his idea that they issue statements in the court. "Mariam was sent to
Darul Aman in Hyderabad, in judicial custody," Akbar declares.

A 13-year-old choosing to convert and marry? A 13-year-old testifying in
the court, without her family by her side? Suspicious, I walk over to the
SHO, caught in the middle of a heated exchange between two groups. Someone
suggests he should allow the girl to meet her relatives. Before the
conversion yes, not now. She has now become Muslim, says the SHO. He
argues, "Theres a huge crowd here. If Mariam breaks down after seeing her
father, there will be a communal riot here in the compound."

A little later, there are celebrations as the word spreads: the court has
allowed the couple to live together. Standing next to me is Kanjee Rano
Bheel. He works for an NGO in the education sector; volunteers for the
Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) as well. "In just two hours
Mashu was converted and married," Kanjee says incredulously.
Disappointment and helpless rage fleet across his face. "In Darul Aman the
girls are kept away from parents and pressured into issuing statements
favourable to the abductors. They tame stubborn girls through death
threats."

So, was Mashu abducted and forcibly converted?

In Mirpur Khas, truth resembles the mirage of the surrounding Thar desert,
teasing and tormenting me as I drive from Karachi into interior Sindh.

It tests your credulity, it challenges your journalistic skills. Wherever
I go, and whoever I meet, in disconsolate voices the Hindus talk about
missing girls; their stories resemble Mashusthe theme of abduction,
conversion, often followed by marriage, is common to most narrations. The
girls then appear in courts to issue statements declaring their conversion
was voluntary. All links to the natal family and the community are
severed; they are lost to the family forever. On January 4, 2005, Marvi,
18, and Hemi, 16, were kidnapped from Kunri village in Umerkot district;
three months later, on March 3, 14-year-old Raji was abducted from Aslam
Town Jhuddo, Mirpur Khas.
       
    So, was Mashu abducted and converted? In Mirpur Khas, the truth is
like the mirage of the Thar desert.   
       
   
    The script in their cases was similar to Mashus. "Only 10 per
cent of all conversions involving girls are voluntary; because of
romance," says Kanjee.

Ten per cent of what? No official figures are available. The DIG in Mirpur
Khas, Saleemullah, says,
"If theres need Ill collect these figures. Minorities are the safest in
Pakistan."

Saleemullah, perhaps, should tap the HRCP for statistics. Its director in
Lahore, I.A. Rehman, is an honourable man. Rehman told Outlook that the
HRCP has, between Jan 2000 to Dec 2005, documented 50 cases involving
conversion of Hindu girls to Islam. Its investigations too endorse what I
had found in interior Sindh.

In many cases where it was claimed the girls had eloped with their Muslim
partners, the HRCP found that most were, in fact, abducted, forcibly
married to Muslim men or sold to them. There have been cases of Hindu
girls, usually from economically better off families, eloping with their
Muslim boyfriends. Rehman says in most cases such marriages didnt last
long. With links to their families cut off, the girls were subsequently
forced to marry another Muslim or sucked into marriage rackets.

Nuzzhat Shirin, who works for the Lahore-based ngp Aurat Foundation,
understands why the girls dont reveal their plight at the time they are
presented in court. "When a Hindu is forced to become Muslim, such a
ruckus is made that if the young kidnapped girl appears in court, the
fanatics yell, scream, throw rose petals in the air and follow the youth
into the building so that shes intimidated and cant speak," Shirin
explains. Social stigma arising from the loss of virginity, and the
consequent difficulty of finding a groom, prompt these women to accept
their misfortuneand hope for the best.

Fifty incidents in five years represents just a percentage of the total
number of cases, says Kanjee, pointing out that a majority of such crimes
go unreported. "There have been 50 such incidents last year," insists
Krishen Bheel, who is a Hindu member of the National Assembly (MNA), the
Pakistani equivalent of the Lok Sabha. He begins to rattle out the cases
he remembers: two months back Sapna was kidnapped and converted in upper
Sindh; seven months earlier it was 17-year-old Lakshmi in Nawkot, and
then.... "The trend is increasing," he says. "If these conversions are
voluntary, then how come boys rarely ever convert?"

Only once did the popular resentment against abduction spill out in the
streets of Mirpur Khas. It was in the 80s: a girl named Sita had been
kidnapped. Some 70,000 Hindus turned up to protest the kidnapping. The
police opened fire, killing several. "Sita was never returned," Krishen
laments. "She had even told Justice Dhorab Patel, who later joined the
HRCP, that she had been forcibly converted.

We have now stopped agitating."

Instead, the Hindus take the support of civil rights groups and the media
to publicise abduction cases, hoping public scrutiny would goad the state
into action. On Dec 30, the day after the Mariam case was disposed, the
Supreme Court took cognisance of the complaint Qosheelas parents from
Ghotki, Sindh, had filed. They claimed their 13-year-old girl had been
kidnapped, converted, given the name of Hajra and married to a Muslim man.
The girl, as in most other cases, had said she had converted of her own
free will. A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftiqar Muhammad
Chaudhry, ordered the medical examination of the girl to determine whether
she had attained puberty (Islam permits marriage at that age).
       
    "A majority of such abductions and conversions go unreported,"
says Kanjee Bheel, of the HRCP.   
       
   
    Should it be proved otherwise, the husband could be tried for
rape.

Even cities are not immune to the menace. Last year, Sammo Amra and Champa
in Karachi received a letter from their three missing daughtersReena
(21), Reema (17) and Usha (19)informing that they had converted to Islam
and were ordained under the dictates of their new religion not to live
with infidels, including their Hindu parents. The letter bore the address
of Madrassa Taleemul Islam, Karachi. It prompted Supreme Court Bar
Association president Malik Mohammad Qayyum to petition the Supreme Court
in the first week of December. He accused the religious seminarys
administrator of using coercive methods to convert the three girls. On
December 16, the court ordered the police to shift the girls to the Edhi
Welfare Centre and provide protection to them until the time it was
ascertained they had been indeed compelled to convert to Islam.

Sensitive Muslim citizens feel the way to counter the menace is to
reinterpret and widen the scope of law. Major (retd) Kamran Shafi, an
absentee landlord from Sindh, cites the case of 17-year-old Kochlia, who
was kidnapped and gangraped in Jacobabad, Sindh, in Sept 2005. Four men
were arrested for the crime. They were subsequently released because
Kochlia stated in the court she had converted and was married to one of
them. Shafi asks, "Isnt something very, very wrong here?  Suppose the
poor girl was forced into changing her religion and marrying one of the
assailants so that they get off the hook? Cant the state prosecute the
four on its own, for their original crime of rape?"

The three Hindu MNAsKrishen Bheel, Gyan Chand and Ramesh Lalraised the
Kochlia case in the National Assembly. They claimed Kochlias statement
was not tenable as under the local Hindu custom and law a girl cant marry
of her own will until the age of 20. Since Kochlia is a minor, her
abductors should be tried for rape. Such an interpretation of existing
laws could provide ample relief to Hindus.

Till then, though, the fear of kidnap stalks the Hindus of Pakistan.
Krishen Bheel says Hindu girls are scared to go out; he has enrolled his
own children into a Christian school. He points to Mirpur Khas strange
predicament: theres freedom to worship, there are 10 temples which bustle
through the day with devotees; and yet Hindu girls here are kidnapped and
convertedand the community humiliated.

Perhaps these abductions are part of the general scenario of crime against
women in rural Pakistan (see box). Perhaps they are converted and married
to criminals to enable the latter to escape the dragnet of the law. Yet,
such arguments dont comfort the Hindus. Sat Ram, of Shadi Bali village
near Mirpur Khas, says Hindu girls are deprived of education because their
parents are apprehensive of sending them to schools located at a distance.
"They receive education only till the primary level. It isnt safe to send
them to school after that."

But the plight of Hindu women cant be seen just through the prism of
gender discrimination rampant in rural Sindh.

Reena Gul, of Sattar Nagar village, Mirpur Khas, says the boys too are
converted but their numbers are very few. The community here feels it is
the Islamists agenda to drive out non-Muslims from Pakistan. In fact,
Krishen told the National Assembly that even Hindu businessmen are being
kidnapped in Sindh for ransom. He said on the floor of the House, "Several
religious parties are reportedly behind the move to convince the people
that it is their responsibility to get rid of infidels from Pakistan,
(that) taking ransom from non-Muslims is not a sin."

I now set out to meet Pir Ayub Jan Sarhandi, whose name surfaces
repeatedly in conversion stories.
       
    Ruksana was Chotee. Poverty and a drug abuser husband made her
convert to Islam.   
   
    The drive from Mirpur Khas to Sarhandi village, Somarho tehsil, is
through a picturesque landscape. Peacocks dance in the field and gypsies
pitch their tents for the night. Even the Pir appears tranquil, his white
flowing beard and winsome disposition camouflaging his mission.

Yet, when he begins to talk, he conceals nothing. Yes, the Pir declares,
he has been converting the Hindus for the last 30 years. Perhaps his
claims of converting a 1,000 families a year is a boast. "Theres a surah
in the Quran which speaks specifically about conversion, especially about
conversion of women," he says to justify his mission. "Recently, three
Hindu girls were brought to me. I named them Benazir, Sanam and Nusrat," 
he reveals, with the righteous air of someone who had bestowed a favour. 
"These Hindu women are mistreated by their husbands who do nothing but
watch TV."

The Pir rubbishes the allegation that he converts abducted Hindu girls.
The unwilling are sent back. Yet, he adds in the same breath, "In many
cases Hindu girls are kidnapped and kept as keeps. But these keeps are not
converted. But believe me, they are very happy."

I express the desire to meet the women whom he had converted and found
sanctuary with him. The Pir agrees, even allows us to photograph them,
contrary to the local tradition. Into the room, the women walk. Rehana,
50, was earlier Nabee; she converted three years ago, after the death of
her husband. "I had no one to turn to. If we do not convert we would not
be helped by this family." It was the same reason for 35-year-old Mariam,
who came here seven years back. "Under the Pirs protection, I earn at
least Rs 200 a month." Ruksana was earlier Chotee, and hails from Umerkot.
Extreme poverty and a drug-addict husband persuaded her to take the
extreme step. "I brought my four kids as well," she declares.

As I talk to these women, I realise most of them are widows or wallowing
in poverty. I mention this to the Pir. He says, "The government is
responsible for all Hindus and non-Hindus. When the government doesnt
help them, they come to us."

Forced or economically enticed, the Hindu converts do not symbolise
Islams appeal. Rather they represent the states failure to provide
succour to the poor and protect their religious rights. Perhaps its also
symptomatic of the sickness afflicting the Pakistani state. As they say,
the condition of the minorities is an indicator of a nations health.

By Mariana Baabar in interior Sindh with Amir Mir in Lahore
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Hindu Human Rights - Guest - 01-17-2006

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->http://www.outlookindia.com/full.asp?fodname=20060123&fname=Cover+Story&sid=2
<b>'Many Hindus Are Leaving Pakistan' </b>
AMIR MIR
Human rights activists are perturbed by the erosion of minority rights, particularly the alarming frequency with which cases of forcible conversion of Hindu girls are surfacing. Ansar Buney, chairman of the Ansar Buney Welfare Trust, is dismayed: "It’s heart-rending to see forced conversion of Hindus to Islam, since the Pakistan that Jinnah had envisioned granted absolute religious freedom to the minorities." He then asks, "Have you ever heard of an Indian Muslim girl being forced to embrace Hinduism?"
I.A. Rehman, director of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, links the erosion of minority rights to the process of Islamisation that the military regime, under President Zia-ul-Haq, initiated in the eighties.

Pakistan was declared an Islamic republic, its social and political life was influenced by the Islamist agenda; the Hindus have had fewer privileges and rights since then. "Apparently, cultural marginalisation, discrimination, economic hardships and religious persecution have resulted in many Hindus leaving Pakistan, especially those in Sindh. The Musharraf-led government needs to stop the continued social oppression of the religious minorities here," Rehman told Outlook.

Aurat Foundation’s Nuzzhat Shirin too blames Islamic fanaticism for the ordeal of Hindus. "It’s Muslims winning by intimidation. It’s Muslims overcoming a culture by threatening it, by abducting young girls so that an entire community moves out or succumbs to the Muslim murderers," she says. Shirin, however, says the crime against Hindu girls should also be seen from the perspective of gender discrimination rampant in Pakistan.

The foundation’s figures show that on average 10 women are killed daily countrywide in honour crimes. "The ratio is higher in the northern tribal areas, with cultural affinity to Afghan tribal practices. Not only that, on average, two women are raped every hour in Pakistan. During 2005, close to 600 women committed suicide across Pakistan.

This is just one indicator of the depression characterising the lives of women," she points out.

Human rights activist Hina Jillani says Hindus and Christians in Pakistan are looked down upon. "That is why they have to take up inferior jobs; their chances of rising in any field is low," she told Outlook. Though a few Hindus have taken advantage of secular institutions and sports to rise to positions of prominence, Jillani feels the system is loaded heavily against them. She cites the example of Pakistani cricketer Yousaf Youhana who was Christian. She insists he converted to Islam and became Mohammad Yousuf because otherwise he would have no chance becoming Pakistan’s cricket captain.

Jillani feels concrete steps should be taken to allay the fears of Hindus. She suggests the reconstruction of temples that were destroyed in Sindh and Punjab in 1992. "General Musharraf, who claims to be the only liberal and secular leader of the country, has taken no steps to rebuild these temples, thereby showing his government too is least concerned about the rights and security of the minorities in Pakistan."

Shehbaz Bhatti, chairman, All Pakistan Minorities Alliance, is also critical of the blasphemy laws which have been often invoked to harass Hindus, Christians and liberal Muslims. From 1985 to 2004, 601 persons were accused of blasphemy. Of these, 295 were Muslims, 203 Ahmadis, 79 Christians, and 24 Hindus. He cites the retaliation against the destruction of the Babri Masjid as an important factor underlying the insecurity of Hindus.
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Hindu Human Rights - Guest - 01-17-2006

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Livingstone speaks to Moscow Mayor about harassment of Russian Hindus
British Parliamentarians launching campaign at House of Commons</b>

London 16th January - The Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone handed over letters expressing concern about the alleged harassment of Russian Hindus by the Moscow Government and the Russian Orthodox Church to the visiting Mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov in London on 14th January, even as British Parliamentarians led by Ashok Kumar MP, Lord Dholakia and Baroness Flather got ready to host the launch of the Defend Russian Hindus campaign at the House of Commons on 18th January.

The Mayor of London has successfully led social integration and community cohesion in London which is one of the most diverse and cosmopolitan cities in the world, said Ramesh Kallidai, secretary general of the Hindu Forum of Britain. When we asked him to hand over our letters of concern to the Mayor of Moscow who was attending the Russian Winter Festival at Trafalgar Square, Mr Livingstone immediately agreed in keeping with the traditions of justice and freedom that London continues to stand for.

Following the meeting between the two Mayors, British Parliamentarians and members of the Hindu, Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities will adopt a resolution at the Defend Russian Hindus launch at the House of Commons, urging the Moscow Government to stop harassment of minority religions in Russia. Parliamentarians from all three parties will later hand a copy of this resolution to the Russian Ambassador in London.
In January 2004, the Mayor of Moscow Yuri Luzhkov signed a decree allocating land in northwest Moscow for construction of a new temple in place of an older Hindu temple which had been demolished for construction of a commercial venture. This was followed by mass protests orchestrated by the Russian Orthodox Church against the building of the temple in the newly allocated land. In October 2005 the Mayor repealed the decree and cancelled the allocation of land and further ordered the removal of a temporary Hindu shrine that devotees had erected from the newly allocated land. During this time, miscreants who had heard of Orthodox opposition to Russian Hindus entered a Hindu temple and beat 30 people including women and children with iron rods, who were hospitalised with fractured skulls.
The only Hindu temple in Moscow had been demolished last year, leaving some 15,000 Indians and 10,000 Russian followers of Hinduism without a place of worship, said Ramesh Kallidai, secretary general of the Hindu Forum of Britain, one of the organisations hosting the meeting. Now the Mayor of Moscow and the Russian Orthodox Church are together trying to stop Hindus from having a place of their own.

Earlier, Archbishop Nikon of the Russian Orthodox Church had described Lord Krishna as an evil demon and the personified power of hell opposing God in a letter to the Mayor of Moscow urging him to stop the construction of a Hindu temple in Moscow.

It is unbelievable that in a country as industrialised and modern as Russia, we are seeing religious intolerance of a level reminiscent of medieval times, continued Ramesh Kallidai. We urge people of all faith traditions to intervene and stop this kind of outrageous behaviour against the peace-loving Hindus of Russia. The international communities continue to monitor the situation closely.

Other Parliamentarians attending the Defend Russian Hindus reception hosted by Ashok Kumar MP include Lord Dholakia, Baroness Shreela Flather, Dr Phyllis Starkey MP, John Grogan MP, Angela Watkinson MP, John McDonnell MP, Shailesh Vara MP, Piara Khabra MP, Jim Dobbin MP and Mark Lazarowicz MP . Parliamentarians from all three parties are expected to join members of the Hindu, Jewish and Christian communities on a visit to Russia later this year to express their concerns on the treatment of minority faith communities.
For more details contact Ramesh Kallidai on  07915 383 103 or 07867 837 241  or ramesh.kallidai@hinduforum.org
Editors Notes
The Defend Russian Hindus Campaign launched in London has the support of leading organisations including the Hindu Forum of Britain, National Council of Hindu Temples UK, Hindu Council UK, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad UK, Hindu American Foundation, Hindu Council of Australia and Hindu Council of Africa.
For more details visit www.hinduforum.org
                      


Text of Letter handed by Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone to the Mayor of London, Yuri Luzhkov

The Mayor of London handed over separate letters written by the Hindu Forum of Britain, the Hindu Council of UK, International Society for Krishna Consciousness and BAPS Swaminarayan Hindu Mission. Reproduced below is the text of the letter written by the Hindu Forum of Britain.


Mr Yuri Luzhkov
Mayor of Moscow
Moscow

Dear Mr Luzhkov

We are writing this letter on behalf of 270 Hindu organisations that are affiliated formally as members of the Hindu Forum of Britain, the representative body of the Hindu community in UK.

There are over 100,000 Hindus in Russia. In Moscow alone, there are 5000 Hindus of Indian origin and over 10,000 Hindus of Russian origin. However, this peaceful community is being denied a simple right to have a place of worship where they can pray, counsel and celebrate their faith.

We learnt that two years ago the Moscow Government asked Hindus to vacate their only temple in Moscow in exchange for a piece of land on which they could build a bigger temple. After the land was allocated to the Hindu temple, the original temple was demolished.

After learning of the allocation of land to the Hindu temple, some members of the Russian Orthodox Church orchestrated mass protests and started a misinformation campaign against Hindus in the Russian media. Many Hindus were victimised, threatened, bullied, and even beaten and subject to violence in different regions of Russia.

The Hindu community in the UK and other parts of the world were very unhappy to learn that in October 2005, the Moscow Government cancelled the land order and took away the piece of land given for the construction of the Hindu temple citing a small technical detail that could easily have been rectified. Now, the 15,000 Hindus in Moscow have no place to worship. The consecrated Deities of Radha and Krishna will have no home. The pattern of events suggests a planned and orchestrated scheme to subjugate the freedom of worship of Russian Hindus and to deny them a basic place where they can congregate peacefully and pray.

To add to this, around the time of Indian Prime Ministers state visit to Moscow to meet Russian President Putin, Archbishop Nikon, a leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, called the Hindu God, Lord Krishna an evil demon, the personified power of hell opposing God, and a livid lascivious youth.  The Archbishop further requested the Mayor to ban construction of a proposed Hindu temple in Moscow saying it would otherwise become an idolatrous disgrace erected for the glory of wicked and malicious god Krishna.

Hindus all over the world have reacted with outrage and shock at these comments of the Archbishop, and disbelief to note that a great country like Russia has subject religious minorities to this treatment. As a result, The Defend Russian Hindus Campaign, launched by the Hindu Forum of Britain, Hindu Council UK, National Council of Hindu Temples UK, International Society for Krishna Consciousness, Vishwa Hindu Parishad UK, Hindu Council of Australia, Hindu American Foundation and many other worldwide Hindu organisations, will be launching its first awareness event from the House of Commons on 18th January 2006.

The event aims to build awareness about the harassment and discrimination against Russian Hindus by sections of the Russian Orthodox Church and the actions of the Moscow Government with regard to the cancellation of the land order, despite support from the Central Government. We note that the Moscow Government has gone so far as to cut off gas, electricity and water to the make-shift temple on the new land, in violation of all known human rights legislation in Europe.

In addition to the event at the House of Commons, the Defend Russian Hindus campaign will be launching a three-pronged plan to communicate the situation of Russian Hindus through media, community and political networks. We are also planning a Parliamentary delegation to visit Russia in the Spring of 2006. We will be  contacting the heads of the G8 countries to take note of the treatment of religious minorities in Russia, which is poised to take over the Presidency of the G8 later this year.

We would be most grateful if you could kindly look at this matter in favourable light.  Hinduism is one of the worlds oldest faith traditions and has always remained peaceful and non-violent. The universal world view of the Hindu tradition, which accepts the whole world as one family and all other faith communities as different ways to the same Truth have been appreciated by world leaders. Therefore, at a time when the world is moving towards an era of tolerance, respect and understanding, it seems rather odd that the Moscow Government chooses to ignore the human rights and freedom of worship for one of the most peaceful faith traditions in the world.

We look forward to hearing back from you after you in this matter.

With best wishes for a happy 2006,

Yours sincerely,


Ramesh Kallidai

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Hindu Human Rights - Guest - 01-26-2006

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->RIGHTS-PAKISTAN:
Women Fall Prey to Coerced Conversions
Zofeen Ebrahim

  KARACHI , Jan 17 (IPS) - When Pakistani cricketer Yousuf Youhana,
the only Christian in the national team, announced that he had
embraced Islam to become Mohammad Yousuf last September, the
conversion hit the headlines everywhere.

  Editorial writers and the public speculated about the reason for
days. Some ascribed it to peer pressure: the influence of ex-
cricketer Saeed Anwar who is a member of the non-political Tableeghi
Jamaat religious cult. Others said, more wryly, that the cricketer
might be just improving his chances of getting to lead the Pakistan
team.

But the conversion of three Hindu girls, a few weeks later, went
almost unnoticed in the media. There was little concern that the
girls, Reena (21), Aishwariya (19), and Reema (17), from a lower
middle-class family  in Karachi's Punjab Colony, had run away from
home to become Muslims.

  Their father Sanao Menghwar and mother Champa, who searched for them
for two weeks, said they tried to lodge a complaint at the local
police station but were not allowed.

  The police finally registered a complaint on Oct. 22 on the
intervention of a deputy superintendent of police. Three Muslim
youths, identified as suspects by Menghwar, were apprehended, but
later released on bail when the girls testified that they had only
helped them convert.

  Soon after, the family received an envelope containing affidavits
signed by their daughters that stated they had converted to Islam of
their own accord and had changed their names to Anam, Afshan and Nida
respectively. Moreover, they said they didn't want to stay with their
parents; preferring to live in the madrassa (religious school) where
they were being instructed.

  The parents went to court, which ordered that the police arrange a
meeting between the parents and the girls. The meeting took place in
the presence of the police, the madrassa instructor and a local
woman. The girls were veiled in black, only their eyes showing. The
father says his youngest daughter's eyes were bloodshot from weeping.

  Thereafter, following a notification by the Supreme Court of
Pakistan, the girls were shifted to the Edhi Home for destitute
women, run by a prominent charitable organisation, where they are
allowed to meet their parents and go for their religious education.

  ''It just doesn't seem right, the whole episode reeks of human rights
violation," says Ayesha Mir, programme coordinator at the women's
rights organisation, Shirkatgah, that has been closely monitoring the
case.  ''There are too many questions that remain unanswered," she
adds.

  ''Why did the women seek shelter in a madrassa? Why did they veil
themselves in front of their parents, no Muslim woman does that?" she
asks.

  Rights activists say the girls have been victimised threefold: they
are poor, belong to a minority community, and are women.

  In another case, three years ago, Sundri, a college student in
Larkana, went to college one day, never to return home. Two weeks
later, the police told her parents that she had eloped with a Muslim
man and converted to Islam. The marriage did not last. Neither did
two others. She died shortly after the third, in mysterious
circumstances.

  Anis Haroon, director of Aurat Foundation, a voluntary agency that
works for the empowerment of women, says that conversions like these
need to be discussed as a ''constitutional issue, not a women's
rights or  religious issue."

  ''Minority women, in general, remain more vulnerable than men," says
Javed Jabbar, former information minister. He reckons their low
status in the discriminatory caste system, compounded by the
shrinking numbers of Hindus -- a mere 2.7 million of the country's
140 million people -- makes women more susceptible. ''The rights of
Hindu women require special protection and enforcement by the state,"
he says.

  Tasneem Ahmar, director of UKS, which monitors the portrayal of
women in the media, wonders why more women are converting. ''We have
to find answers soon before this sort of conversion becomes a
legitimised practice," she says.

  A report by a Pakistani journalist in Mid-Day, an Indian tabloid, on
Nov. 15 says: ''at least 19 such abduction cases have occurred in
Karachi alone", last year. A shaken Hindu community is ''marrying off
their daughters as soon as they are of marriageable age or migrate to
India, Canada or other nations," he writes.

  In the recent conversion, the lawyer representing the father of the
three girls, Raja Hussain, says the girls were forced to marry their
captors. He claimed they were kidnapped and harassed by the three
youths. As evidence, he said the girls refused to respond when asked
if they were going to marry the youths.

  Article 20 of Pakistan's Constitution protects the rights of
citizens to practice their religion. ''Then what is the basis or
rationale for someone to exercise force against anyone for exercising
his or her rights under these provisions?" wonders Justice Nasir
Aslam Zahid, a retired Supreme Court judge

  ''Apparently none," he adds. ''The constitution  neither approves,
expressly or impliedly, nor permits  any forcible conversion.
Violation of others' rights  is not justifiable on any ground."

  He advises that every effort should be made to ascertain if the
decision to convert was made voluntarily. It is necessary for police
and judicial officers to be trained, and an atmosphere created where
they can discharge their duties ''without fear of retaliation", he
adds.

  Haroon puts the blame squarely on the state. ''It has been unable to
guarantee civil rights to its people, specifically its minorities,"
she says.

  Jabbar believes it is everyone's responsibility. ''All citizens have
an obligation to protect minorities and prevent coercive conversion.
The overwhelming majority of Pakistanis are very tolerant and
respectful of religious minorities," he says.

  When Shirkatgah visited Punjab Colony to investigate the conversion,
they reported that the neighbourhood was very tense. ''People were
visibly scared and those Hindus, who had earlier told us that they
would talk to us, refused to even recognise us when we went a second
time. The father who spoke to us for 45  minutes, peered outside
three times to see if someone  was eavesdropping."

  ''People are a little wary àthey can be slapped with  the blasphemy
law and put behind bars," explains  Shirkatgah's Mir. She thinks the
apex court which  provided the three women police protection, should
do  the same for their parents.

  Pakistan's blasphemy laws have been used to persecute non-Muslims.
Minority religious groups have long sought to have the law scrapped.

  Still, Menghwar refuses to give up hope of getting his daughters
back. Neither does he believe their conversion was voluntary. The
girls had said in court: ''We have left our home and religion by
ourselves and  no one forced us into this...we used to listen to
Islamic programmes on television and decided to  convert to Islam."
(END/2006)
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Hindu Human Rights - Guest - 02-05-2006

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->http://www.jang.com.pk/thenews/jan2006-dai...main/main13.htm
<b>Conversions: a source of concern</b>

Mariana Baabar

Let me confess at the outset: I'm travelling in interior Sindh to verify specifically the reported widespread menace of abduction of Hindu girls, their forcible conversion to Islam and betrothal to Muslim men. My first port of call is the district court of Mirpurkhas. I promptly mingle among the crowd waiting for the court's decision on a kidnap-and-conversion case. Different voices narrate contradictory stories. I am befuddled for the moment.

Soon, a frisson of excitement sweeps through the throng, as a police van drives through the gate. Inside it is Mariam. She's 13-year-old and married! Mariam was Mashu, and Hindu, till the night of December 22, 2005. I pick my way through the jostling crowd. Mariam is in a red chaddar, her gold nose ring sparkles.

She tells me, "I'm happy. I don't want to return to my parents or brother." What's the fuss about, I wonder. It's quite another story under the pipal tree of the court compound.

Huddled under it are the villagers of Jhaluree, 20 kilometres from Mirpurkhas. Among them is Mashu's father, Malo Sanafravo. He says that at 11 p.m., December 22, four armed men barged into their room. One of them was Malo's neighbour, Akbar. They picked up Mashu, bundled her into the waiting car. "She was taken to Pir Ayub Jan Sarhandi's village in Somarho tehsil." There Mashu became Mariam and was married to Akbar.

Not true, insists husband Akbar. "Mariam has always been in my heart," he gushes, saying, at 11 p.m., December 22, it was she who had come over to his house. But it's true that the Pir converted her and married them, it was his idea that they issue statements in the court. "Mariam was sent to Darul Aman in Hyderabad, in judicial custody," Akbar declares.

A 13-year-old choosing to convert and marry? A 13-year-old testifying in the court, without her family by her side? Suspicious, I walk over to the SHO, caught in the middle of a heated exchange between two groups. Someone suggests he should allow the girl to meet her relatives. Before the conversion yes, not now. She has now become Muslim, says the SHO. He argues, "There's a huge crowd here. If Mariam breaks down after seeing her father, there will be a communal riot here in the compound."

A little later, there are celebrations as the word spreads: the court has allowed the couple to live together. Standing next to me is Kanjee Rano Bheel. He works for an NGO in the education sector; volunteers for the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) as well. "In just two hours Mashu was converted and married," Kanjee says incredulously. Disappointment and helpless rage fleet across his face.

"In Darul Aman the girls are kept away from parents and pressured into issuing statements favourable to the abductors. They tame stubborn girls through death threats." So, was Mashu abducted and forcibly converted?

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Women's Development Nilofar Bakhtiar told 'The News' that no case has come to her directly in this area. "However, I will start investigating and take very serious action about the forced conversions. This is certainly a very big issue. I know that the Supreme Court has taken a suo motto action on several of these cases. The issue was also raised in the National Assembly by MNA Krishen Bheel and I instructed MNA Gule Farkhanda from Sindh to investigate this issue," Ms Bakhtiar told 'The News.'

In Mirpurkhas, truth resembles the mirage of the surrounding Thar desert, teasing and tormenting me as I drive from Karachi into interior Sindh. It tests your credulity, it challenges your journalistic skills. Wherever I go, and whoever I meet, in disconsolate voices the Hindus talk about 'missing girls'; their stories resemble Mashu's -- the theme of abduction, conversion, often followed by marriage, is common to most narrations. The girls then appear in courts to issue statements declaring their conversion was voluntary.

All links to the natal family and the community are severed; they are lost to the family forever. On January 4, 2005, Marvi, 18, and Hemi, 16, were kidnapped from Kunri village in Umerkot district; three months later, on March 3, 14-year-old Raji was abducted from Aslam Town Jhuddo, Mirpurkhas.

The script in their cases was similar to Mashu's. "Only 10 per cent of all conversions involving girls are voluntary; because of romance," says Kanjee. Ten per cent of what? No official figures are available.

The DIG in Mirpurkhas, Saleemullah, says, "If there's need I'll collect these figures. Minorities are the safest in Pakistan." Saleemullah, perhaps, should tap the HRCP for statistics. Its director in Lahore, I A Rehman, says that the HRCP has, between January 2000 to December 2005, documented 50 cases involving conversion of Hindu girls to Islam. Its investigations too endorse what I had found in interior Sindh.

In many cases where it was claimed the girls had eloped with their Muslim partners, the HRCP found that most were, in fact, abducted, forcibly married to Muslim men or sold to them. <b>There have been cases of Hindu girls, usually from economically better off families, eloping with their Muslim boyfriends.</b>

Rehman says in most cases such marriages didn't last long. <b>With links to their families cut off, the girls were subsequently forced to marry another Muslim or sucked into marriage rackets.</b> Nuzhat Shirin, who works for the Lahore-based Aurat Foundation, understands why girls don't reveal their plight at the time they are presented in court.
<b>
"When a Hindu is forced to become Muslim, such a ruckus is made that if the young kidnapped girl appears in court, the fanatics yell, scream, throw rose petals in the air and follow the youth into the building so that she's intimidated and can't speak," </b>Shirin explains.

<b>Social stigma arising from the loss of virginity, and the consequent difficulty of finding a groom, prompt these women to accept their misfortune and hope for the best. </b>Fifty incidents in five years represent just a percentage of the total number of cases, says Kanjee, pointing out that a majority of such crimes go unreported.

"There have been 50 such incidents last year," insists Krishen Bheel, who is a Hindu member of the National Assembly (MNA). He begins to rattle out the cases he remembers: two months back Sapna was kidnapped and converted in upper Sindh; seven months earlier it was 17-year-old Lakshmi in Nawakot, and then.... <b>"The trend is increasing,"</b> he says.

"If these conversions are voluntary, then how come boys rarely ever convert?" Only once did the popular resentment against abduction spill out in the streets of Mirpurkhas. It was in the eighties: a girl named Sita had been kidnapped. Some 70,000 Hindus turned up to protest the kidnapping. <b>The police opened fire, killing several. "Sita was never returned," Krishen laments.</b>

"She had even told Justice Dorab Patel, who later joined the HRCP, that she had been forcibly converted. We have now stopped agitating." Instead, the Hindus take the support of civil rights groups and the media to publicise abduction cases, hoping public scrutiny would goad the state into action. On December 30, the day after the Mariam case was disposed, the Supreme Court took cognisance of the complaint Qosheela's parents from Ghotki, Sindh, had filed.

They claimed their 13-year-old girl had been kidnapped, converted, given the name of Hajra and married to a Muslim man. The girl, as in most other cases, had said she had converted of her own free will.

A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, ordered the medical examination of the girl to determine whether she had attained puberty. Should it be proved otherwise, the husband could be tried for rape.

Even cities are not immune to the menace. Last year, Sammo Amra and Champa in Karachi received a letter from their three missing daughters, Reena (21), Reema (17) and Usha (19), <b>informing that they had converted to Islam and were ordained under the dictates of their new religion not to live with infidels, including their Hindu parents. The letter bore the address of Madrassa Taleemul Islam, Karachi.</b>

It prompted Supreme Court Bar Association president Malik Mohammad Qayyum to petition the Supreme Court in the first week of December. He accused the religious seminary's administrator of using coercive methods to convert the three girls.

On December 16, the court ordered the police to shift the girls to the Edhi Welfare Centre and provide protection to them until the time it was ascertained they had been indeed compelled to convert to Islam.

Sensitive Muslim citizens feel the way to counter the menace is to reinterpret and widen the scope of law. Major ® Kamran Shafi cites the case of 17-year-old Kochlia, who was kidnapped and gangraped in Jacobabad, Sindh, in September 2005. Four men were arrested for the crime. They were subsequently released because Kochlia stated in the court she had converted and was married.

Shafi asks, "Isn't something very, very wrong here? Suppose the poor girl was forced into changing her religion and marrying one of the assailants so that they get off the hook? Can't the state prosecute the four on its own, for their original crime of rape?"

The three Hindu MNAs -- Krishen Bheel, Gyan Chand and Ramesh Lal -- raised the Kochlia case in the National Assembly. They claimed Kochlia's statement was not tenable as under the local Hindu custom and law a girl can't marry of her own will until the age of 20. Since Kochlia is a minor, her abductors should be tried for rape.
<b>
Such an interpretation of existing laws could provide ample relief to Hindus. Till then, though, the fear of kidnap stalks the Hindus of Pakistan.</b>

Krishen Bheel says Hindu girls are scared to go out; he has enrolled his own children into a Christian school. He points to Mirpurkhas' strange predicament: there's freedom to worship, there are 10 temples which bustle through the day with devotees; and yet Hindu girls here are kidnapped and converted and the community humiliated.

Perhaps these abductions are part of the general scenario of crime against women in rural Pakistan. Perhaps they are converted and married to criminals to enable the latter to escape the dragnet of the law. Yet, such arguments don't comfort the Hindus.

Sat Ram of Shadi Bali village near Mirpurkhas says Hindu girls are deprived of education because their parents are apprehensive of sending them to schools located at a distance. "They receive education only till the primary level. It isn't safe to send them to school after that."

But the plight of Hindu women can't be seen just through the prism of gender discrimination rampant in rural Sindh.

Reena Gul of Sattar Nagar village, Mirpurkhas, says the boys too are converted but their numbers are very few. The community here feels it is the Islamist's agenda to drive out non-Muslims from Pakistan.

<b>In fact, Krishen told the National Assembly that even Hindu businessmen are being kidnapped in Sindh for ransom. He said on the floor of the House, "Several religious parties are reportedly behind the move to convince the people that it is their responsibility to get rid of infidels in Pakistan, (that) taking ransom from non-Muslims is not a sin."</b>

I now set out to meet Pir Ayub Jan Sarhandi, whose name surfaces repeatedly in conversion stories. The drive from Mirpurkhas to Sarhandi village, Somarho tehsil, is through a picturesque landscape. Peacocks dance in the field and gypsies pitch their tents for the night. Even the Pir appears tranquil, his white flowing beard and winsome disposition camouflaging his mission. Yet, when he begins to talk, he conceals nothing.

Yes, the Pir declares, he has been converting the Hindus for the last 30 years. Perhaps his claim of converting 1,000 families a year is a boast<b>. "There's a surah in the Quran which speaks specifically about conversion, especially about conversion of women," he says to justify his mission.</b>

"Recently, three Hindu girls were brought to me. I named them Benazir, Sanam and Nusrat," he reveals, with the righteous air of someone who had bestowed a favour.

"These Hindu women are mistreated by their husbands who do nothing but watch TV." The Pir rubbishes the allegation that he converts abducted Hindu girls.

<b>The unwilling are sent back. Yet, he adds in the same breath, "In many cases Hindu girls are kidnapped and kept as keeps. But these keeps are not converted. But believe me, they are very happy."</b>

I express the desire to meet the women whom he had converted and found sanctuary with him. The Pir agrees, even allows us to photograph them, contrary to the local tradition.

Into the room, the women walk. Rehana, 50, was earlier Nabee; she converted three years ago, after the death of her husband. "I had no one to turn to. If we do not convert we would not be helped by this family."

It was the same reason for 35-year-old Mariam, who came here seven years back. "Under the Pir's protection, I earn at least Rs 200 a month." Ruksana was earlier Chotee, and hails from Umerkot. Extreme poverty and a drug-addict husband persuaded her to take the extreme step. "I brought my four kids as well," she declared.

As I talk to these women, I realise most of them are widows or wallowing in poverty. I mention this to the Pir. He says, "The government is responsible for all Hindus and non-Hindus. When the government doesn't help them, they come to us."

<b>
Forced or economically enticed, the Hindu converts do not symbolise Islam's appeal.</b> Rather they represent the state's failure to provide succour to the poor and protect their religious rights. Perhaps it's also symptomatic of the sickness afflicting the Pakistani state. As they say, the condition of the minorities is an indicator of a nation's health.

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Hindu Human Rights - Guest - 02-17-2006

came in mail:

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->French ‘Carry On Film’ demeans Hindu Gods



18 February 2006 – Hindus from Britain and across the world are in uproar over the latest examples of exploitation of Hindu gods. A record breaking French film and a drinks company’s advertising campaign in Greece mock Lord Shiva and the Goddess Durga.



Les Bronzes 3: Amis Pour La Vie (The Tanned 3, Friends Forever), which set record film ticket sales for an opening weekend in France and is the French equivalent of the Carry on films, shows the main characters in the film swearing, laughing and tearing up images of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva represents the aspect of the Supreme Being and is the third member of the Hindu Trinity, the other two being Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu.



Dioramas promoting Southern Comfort Whiskey in Greece depict the Goddess Durga - the multi-armed deity - carrying bottles of Southern Comfort.  Two-dimensional wooden displays of the wife of Lord Shiva and a unified symbol of all divine forces were displayed both inside and outside of the Balon Oriental Disco Bar in Athens. 



However, following protests from Hindus, Brown-Forman owners of the Southern Comfort brand the company has withdrawn the offending images.



Sandhiya Patel, an Executive of the Hindu Forum of Britain, who spoke and wrote to Brown-Forman said: “I wrote to lodge my disgust at the use of the Goddess Durga, especially as it is against the practice of Hinduism to take any intoxications including alcohol. Therefore to depict a Hindu Goddess holding bottles of alcohol is  extremely offensive. The fact that the company has removed the images shows that voicing our opinions can make a different, it’s just a shame that businesses don’t do their research before implementing such campaigns.” 



The Goddess Durga protects mankind from evil and misery by destroying evil forces such as selfishness, jealousy, prejudice, hatred, anger, and ego and the weapons in the hands of Durga such as a conch, mace, sword, disc, arrow, and trident convey the idea that one weapon cannot destroy all different kinds of enemies. Different weapons must be used to fight enemies depending upon the circumstances, for example, selfishness must be destroyed by detachment, jealousy by desirelessness, prejudice by self-knowledge, and ego by discrimination.



Ramesh Kallidai, Secretary General of the Hindu Forum of Britain, added: “These latest insensitive caricatures of Hindu gods demonstrates extreme intolerance and disregard of Hindu practices and the portrayal of such deities in any context other than the most reverential one is totally unacceptable. The Hindu Goddess holding bottles of alcohol is and the lack of respect shown to Hindus most sacred deities most extremely offensive and blasphemous.



“And to mock the worship of the Hindu religion, as this French film does, does little to increase understanding our different cultures or even help all communities to live together in an harmonious way, so I would urge people to write to Warner Brothers, who are distributing this film, to complain about this blatant exploitation of the Hindus most revered prophet.”

 

In the past the Hindu community has been incensed by the way Hindu Deities  - the pictures of Lord Krishna on shoes and Hindu deities on toilet seats - and Hinduism generally, have been depicted for commercial gain.



Those wishing to complain about the film should write to Warner Bros. Distributors Limited, Warner House, 98 Theobalds Road, WC1X 8WB United Kingdom. Or email: customerservice@wb.com.



Ends    




Editor’s Notes:



1.       The Hindu Forum of Britain is the representative umbrella body for British Hindus with formal membership of over 250 Hindu organisations from different regions and cultural backgrounds in Britain. The Hindu Forum of Britain has conducted some of the largest community consultation activities on behalf of the Hindu community to influence Government policy and runs a number of projects for Hindu youth, women, community safety and temples.



2.       Although the Hindu Forum is a national organisation, it has a large regional presence through its membership from the largest regional umbrella organisations, religious organisations, community organisations and youth organisations.



3.       At the core of the Forum’s activities is a strong belief in the richness and diversity of the Hindu culture, its value system that encompasses respect for all beings and faiths, and a cultural heritage that facilitates community cohesion and coexistence. For more information visit the HFB Website:  www.hinduforum.org.



4.      Lord Shiva is the Lord of mercy and compassion. He protects devotees from evil forces such as lust, greed, and anger. He grants boons, bestows grace and awakens wisdom in His devotees and images of Shiva are venerated by Hindus. Since the tasks of Lord Shiva are numerous, he cannot be symbolised in one form.


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Hindu Human Rights - Guest - 02-21-2006

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Defend Russian Hindus Website Launched

The Defend Russian Hindus Campaign has announced the launch of its website to coordinate the worldwide communication of issues surrounding the harassment of Russian Hindus by the Russian Orthodox Church and the Moscow Government.

The high-profile campaign, which was launched at the House of Commons in London on 18 th January by Lord Dholakia, Ashok Kumar MP and James Clappison MP with the support of leaders from the Hindu, Christian, Muslim and Jewish communities, had already generated worldwide interest after Archbishop Nikon of the Russian Orthodox Church called Lord Krishna 'an evil demon, the personified power of hell, opposing God,' and urged the Mayor of Moscow to stop the building of a Hindu temple in Moscow.

"There are over 60,000 Hindus in Russia. In Moscow alone, there are thousands Hindus of Indian and Russian origin (well over 10,000). However, this peaceful community is being denied a simple right to have a place of worship where they can pray, counsel and celebrate their faith," explained Ramesh Kallidai, Secretary General of the Hindu Forum of Britain.

Two years ago the Moscow Government asked Hindus to vacate their only temple in Moscow in exchange for a piece of land on which they could build a bigger temple. After the land was allocated, the original temple was demolished.   After learning of the allocation of land to the Hindu temple, some members of the Russian Orthodox Church orchestrated mass protests and started a misinformation campaign against Hindus in the Russian media.

"Even before that many Hindus were victimised , threatened, bullied, even beaten and subject to violence in different regions of Russia," continued Kallidai . "Now we fear that such cases will only increase." 

Supporters of the Campaign include the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, who handed a letter of protest to the visiting Mayor of Moscow Yuri Luzhkov who had been visiting London on 14th January, and the British Minister for Europe Douglas Alexander MP who was on record saying in the chamber of the House of Commons that Britain would discuss the issue with the Russian Government.

An Early Day Motion expressing concern about the harassment of Russian Hindus and extending support to the Defend Russian Hindu Campaign in the House of Commons has so far received the support of 57 British MPs.

The new website includes a history of the harassment of Russian Hindus, latest news about the campaign, press stories, downloadable presentations, pictures and documents and contact details for sending protest letters.

It can be visited at: www.defendrussianhindus.org

For more information: Call Ramesh Kallidai on 07915 383 103 or 020 8965 0671

<b>Editors Notes: </b>

Defend Russian Hindus is a worldwide campaign aimed to build awareness of the harassment and discrimination against Russian Hindus by the Russian Orthodox Church and the Moscow Government. The campaign has the support of British and Indian Parliamentarians, community leaders and the media, and is led by the Hindu Forum of Britain, National Council of Hindu Temples UK, Hindu Council UK, BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, International Society for Krishna Consciousness, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Hindu Council of Australia, Hindu American Foundation and the Hindu Conference of Canada.

Info@HinduForum.org<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->


Hindu Human Rights - Guest - 02-23-2006

<b>Crowley says minority rights must be protected</b>
Staff Correspondent
Feb 22, 2006
http://www.thedailystar.net/2006/02/22/d6022201022.htm


US Congressman Joseph Crowley yesterday said the Bangladesh government must protect the rights of the minorities to uphold democracy in the country.

"In the homework of democracy, the duty of the majority is to protect the minorities' rights," he told journalists after a meeting with Ahmadiyya leaders at Bakshibazar in the city.

Joseph F Crowley, co-chair of congressional Bangladeshi Caucus who arrived in Dhaka yesterday on a three-day visit, also held a meeting with <b>the Bangladesh Hindu Bouddha Christian Oikya Parishad (BHBCOP) leaders and Mahanagar Sarbojaneen Puja Committee at the Dhakeswari National Temple.</b>

Earlier, Crowley placed wreath at the Central Shaheed Minar on the occasion of International Mother Language Day.

He appreciated the religious harmony and practice of democracy in Bangladesh, but said the government should take appropriate measures on the allegations of the minority communities in Bangladesh.

On what he learnt about the concerns of the minorities, Crowley said they are sensing threat from the majority within Bangladesh. "I think, probably, it is minority within the majority that makes that."

The minorities are also concerned about their inability to express themselves through publications which is a violation of human rights, he added.

"It is important for the US to maintain the relations with Bangladesh," Crowley said, adding that his country wants to help positively the democracy in Bangladesh to flourish.

Meer Mobashsher Ali, nayeb-e-ameer of National Ahmadiyya Jamaat, while briefing journalists after their meeting with Crowley said the congressman enquired if media reports on the attacks on the Ahmadiyyas are true. "We told him that the media in Bangladesh is quite free and the reports of Ahmadiyya repression is true," he said.

He said they thought their situation in the country should be brought to the concern of the international community. "But of course, if the government wants, it can stop any attack on the Ahmadiyyas as it protected us at Trishal on February 10," he added.

He said they expect that good sense will prevail in the government and it will protect the rights of the minorities as is ensured in the constitution. "There should be something effective like a human rights charter on international basis to protect the human rights of the minorities," he noted.

Earlier at the meeting, the BHBCOP submitted a memorandum to the US congressman, demanding repeal of the fifth and eighth amendments to the constitution to establish a secular and democratic state diminishing all disparities.

It demanded proper inclusion of the country's minority voters as well as 5.5 million voters staying in India in the voter list and assurance of free and fair elections under a neutral caretaker government and an independent Election Commission.

The BHBCOP memorandum also demanded equal rights and proportional representation in every sphere of life, including parliament, cabinet, defence and civil administration, and assurance of safe return of 10 million minorities who have left the country at different times.

The memorandum urged the government to fulfil the legitimate demands of the aboriginal and indigenous communities, including preservation of their culture and heritage, and implement the CHT Treaty.

The increase in terrorist bomb attacks over the last few years, especially in recent time, follows "directly from the communal state system and the Islamised constitution of Bangladesh", it said, adding, "The extremist forces are enjoying support of the present coalition government."

The communal forces perpetrated widespread attack on the non-Muslims before, during and after the general elections in 2001, and they are now conspiring to deprive the religious minorities of their voting rights in the coming elections, the BHBCOP alleged.

BHBCOP President CR Dutta, General Secretary Dr Nim Chandra Bhowmik and other leaders were present at the meeting.

Crowley also met Archbishop Paulinus Costa, chief of the Catholics in Bangladesh, at the Ramna Cathedral in Kakrail.


Hindu Human Rights - Guest - 03-23-2006

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Warrant against MF Hussain </b>
    Indore 
  A LOCAL court on Wednesday issued a bailable warrant against noted painter Maqbool Fida Hussain for his objectionable depiction of Hindu deities.
Judicial Magistrate Narendra Jain fixed April 13 as the next date for hearing. <b>Charges under Sections 292, 294, 298 and 500 of the IPC were framed against Mr Hussain on a petition by local resident Ajay Singh Narooka rearesented by Advocate Chandrashekhar Raikwar.</b>
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Hindu Human Rights - Guest - 04-11-2006

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>FIR against Husain, Nafisa for 'Bharat Mata' painting </b>
Pioneer.com
Staff Reporter/ New Delhi
Delhi Police has registered a case against painter MF Husain for depicting "Bharat Mata" in an obscene manner in one of his paintings, which was to be auctioned to fund rehabilitation work in earthquake-hit Kashmir. The case was registered at the Connaught Place police station on the direction of a city court.

A case has also been registered against <b>socialite and Congress leader Nafisa Ali</b>. Nafisa, as she is the chairperson of the trust, Action India, which was engaged in auctioning Husain's paintings.

A case was registered after complainant, Dr Ram Pratap Singh, a resident of Indirapuram in Ghaziabad saw the objectionable pictures of "Bharat Mata" in a leading weekly magazine. <b>Dr Singh, who works in Apollo Hospital went to the Connaught Place police station to register a case but when the police refused to register his complaint, he moved an application in the court.</b>,

On April 4, a case under Section 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion), 292 (printing of scurrilous matter), 294 (obscene acts and songs), 295 A, 298 (uttering words with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person) of Indian Penal Code (IPC) was registered on the direction of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Patiala House, Vikas Dhull.

<b>A case has also been registered against an English daily for publishing a painting which depicts a scantily-clad Sita clinging to the tail of Lord Hanuman in a sexually explicit manner as also Draupadi's Vastra Haran being depicted in an obscene way.</b>

"The travesty of it was that such obscene paintings were part of an exhibition/auction to collect fund for reconstruction work in Kashmir which has been devastated by natural calamity," reads the first information report (FIR).

<b>Ms Nafisa Ali's trust, Action India, located at D-37 Defence Colony has been made liable for giving the advertisement captioned Art for Mission Kashmir showing a nude "Bharat Mata".</b> <!--emo&:cool--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/specool.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='specool.gif' /><!--endemo-->

The case would come up for hearing before a committee under the aegis of Principal Secretary (Home) of Delhi Government. "Any arrests would be made on the basis of the recommendations given by the Committee," said a senior police officer.

Dr Singh has alleged that prior to this, the painter has been at the centre of other controversies for showing other goddesses in an objectionable manner and has again repeated the same, because the objection thereto was peaceful and no penal action was taken by the authorities concerned.
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Hindu Human Rights - Guest - 04-11-2006

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1060408/asp/...ory_6073607.asp

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->On the Bharat Mata painting, the law ministry has said it does not violate either the State Emblems Act or the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act and Husain cannot be prosecuted for this work.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->


Hindu Human Rights - agnivayu - 04-12-2006

I know how to screw this guy, someone should make an obscene painting of the prophet and credit it to Husain. Some fake statements should be made that are credited to Husain. Let the mad mullahs be provoked into targeting this guy.




<!--QuoteBegin-rajesh_g+Apr 11 2006, 06:34 AM-->QUOTE(rajesh_g @ Apr 11 2006, 06:34 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->http://www.telegraphindia.com/1060408/asp/...ory_6073607.asp

<!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->On the Bharat Mata painting, the law ministry has said it does not violate either the State Emblems Act or the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act and Husain cannot be prosecuted for this work.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
[right][snapback]49728[/snapback][/right]
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Hindu Human Rights - Bharatvarsh - 05-13-2006

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Conversion of minor girl: HC orders inquiry

Friday, May 12, 2006 01:25:21 amTIMES NEWS NETWORK

LUCKNOW: The high court here on Thursday, while dismissing a habeas-corpus petition, has directed SSP Lucknow and Allahabad to conduct investigation into the whole episode of conversion of a minor Hindu girl into Islam and thereafter solemnising her nikah.

The order was passed by Justice Rakesh Sharma on a petition moved on behalf of Joya alias Deepika Pankaj Rai, a minor, saying that she was illegally detained.

The detenue, 14, was taken away to Allahabad by one Mohd Azhar Khan. She was allegedly converted to Islam on May 4 last and thereafter a nikahnama was also prepared on the next day.

The court observed that it was surprising to note that no consent of her parents or guardians was obtained before her conversion or nikah, which was allegedly solemnised at a place 200 kms away from the city.

It was found by the court that the girl was under the control of the man who took her away and other persons, who converted her to Islam and performed nikah and stood witness to it.

The court felt that an inquiry was required as to how and where the alleged conversion had actually taken place and who were the witnesses to the entire episode of marriage etc. between a minor girl and Mohd Azhar Khan.

The court, while fixing July 7 next for perusal of SSP's reports, said that it would be open for the police to proceed in accordance with law against Mohd Azhar Khan and other accused persons involved in the alleged conversion and nikah.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1526717.cms<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->