KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Monday ruled that Salma (previously Anjali Kumari Meghwar), who recently converted to Islam, would stay at shelter home in Karachi till further orders.
In the meantime, the court allowed her parents to meet her. A two-judge bench issued notice to Sindh chief secretary, home secretary, provincial police chief, senior superintendent of police Ghotki and others to respond to the petition by November 24.
The petitioner, Kundandass Meghwar, father of the convert girl, approached the court requesting it to declare that Anjali Bai is underage and no statement under Section 164 of the code of criminal procedure can be recorded at this stage or if her statement was necessary then any judicial magistrate in Karachi may be authorized to record her statement.
The petitioner further pleaded to the court to order provincial authorities to constitute a medical board comprising qualified gynaecologists and surgeons of Karachi to conduct her medical examination to ascertain her age.
Syed Ali Ahmed Tariq, who represented the petitioner, submitted that petitioner’s daughter, who was 12-year-old, was abducted and forced to convert to Islam. Counsel said Anjali was produced in the court of judicial magistrate, who sent her to the shelter home to give her some time to relax and free from pressure, which was on her from both sides. Following the court order, she was shifted to Panah Shelter Home in Karachi.
He said girl’s family were dissatisfied with the probe conducted by the police into her kidnapping and forced conversion case, saying Ghotki police was reluctant to investigate the case impartially and in accordance with the law against the culprits. He alleged that police were helping the culprits as they failed produce the girl before the court on time and gave chance to the accused party to spoil the evidence against them and further to prepare the documents in support of their baseless version.
Counsel said that it was necessary that girl should stay at the shelter home as far as her safety and security is concerned and since the girl was minor, her parents have right to meet their daughter.