Religious conversion controversy: One of four Sikh women had told Jammu and Kashmir High Court she willingly converted to Islam


Amidst raging controversy over the conversion of four Sikh women to Islam in Jammu and Kashmir, it has emerged that one of the women had approached the high court seeking protection from her family. Alleging harassment from her family, Viran Pal Lour, who became Khadeeja after marrying Manzoor Ahmad Bhat on 20 January, had told the high court that she embraced Islam willingly without any coercion.

Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey had ordered on 20 May that the Jammu and Kashmir Police must ensure that the woman in question was not harassed by her parents. “…and they shall be allowed to live their married life the way they like and protect their rights in terms of the guarantee as enshrined by the Constitution of India,” news agency PTI quoted the order from the high court.

Khadeeja is 26 years of age while her husband is 31. Both had pronounced their marriage before a notary in Budgam district in February this year. However, they were forced to go on the run fearing harassment from the woman’s family.

A section of the Sikh community has recently registered their outrage alleging the forced conversion of Sikh women by their Muslim lovers. The topic has been gaining momentum on social media. They’ve received support from the Akali Dal, which was an alliance partner of the BJP both at the Centre and in Punjab until recently.

Reacting to the controversy, former Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah tweeted, ‘Any move to drive a wedge between Sikhs & Muslims in Kashmir will cause irreparable harm to J&K. The two communities have supported each other through thick & thin, having withstood countless attempts to damage age old relationships.”

Meanwhile, a delegation of Sikh leaders met Minister of State (Home) G Kishan Reddy to discuss the issue of the alleged forced conversion of Sikh women.