Pakistan: 18-year-old Hindu girl killed for refusing conversion, marriage
A Hindu girl was murdered for declining a marriage proposal in the Sukkur district of Sindh, a province in Pakistan. As per reports, the accused, Wahid Bux Lashari, intended to marry Pooja Kumari, 18, after converting her to Islam. After Pooja refused, Lashari broke into her house to kidnap her. When she resisted the abduction, he opened fire on her.
According to police, the prime suspect has been apprehended and has confessed his crime. However, reports indicate that multiple men were involved in the abduction attempt, and it is unclear whether additional suspects have been identified and arrested.
Local media reported that Pooja's relatives protested against the brutal murder by staging a dharna on a road of the district and demanded harsh punishment for the accused. People on social media, including Pakistani citizens, came out in support of the family and joined the protest, with the hashtag "#JusticeForPoojaKumari" trending on the microblogging website Twitter
Pakistani citizens are supporting the victim's family in their demands. A Pakistani citizen wrote on Twitter, "Until and unless the government cracks down on Pooja Kumari's killers, another Pooja will be brutally murdered tomorrow. The murderers must be punished accordingly." Another user wrote, "Strongly condemn Pooja Kumari's murder...It's the responsibility of state & law-enforcement agencies to arrest Murderers immediately. Justice For Daughter of Sindh."
According to the People's Commission for Minority Rights and the Center for Social Justice, 156 cases of forced conversion were reported between 2013 and 2019 in Pakistan. In 2019, the Sindh government attempted to introduce legislation prohibiting forcible conversion and second marriage. Sindh has the highest concentration of Hindus in Pakistan, where both communities coexist peacefully. However, atrocities against Hindus have recently surged.