Enact law to ban inter-religious marriages in J&K: DKSC

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, July 2: Displaced Kashmiri Sikh Conference, president Harmohinder Singh vociferously raised the concern of 3.5 lakh Sikhs in JK UT. He said that Sikhs are being marginalized and their interests are being brushed aside since 1947.
In a press statement, Singh said the recent developments in Kashmir Valley have shaken the psyche of the community at large scale. The fundamentalist forces have raised their ugly head again and threatened minority Sikh girls for conversion. These unscrupulous elements made several attempts to lure Sikh girls and to convert them forcibly and marry off in Kashmir valley.
The Sikh community of Jammu and Kashmir seeks to enact a law which will ban inter-faith marriages. By this law, the beleaguered minorities will be safeguarded and protection of women’s folk be ensured.
Harmohinder Singh said that the anti-conversion law and inter-faith marriages act has been enacted by several states in India such as Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Such laws are to be implemented in Jammu and Kashmir to protect the life and integrity of daughters of minorities that is the need of the hour. In the past, we have witnessed communal conflicts between many communities where such laws have not been promulgated. He regretted that Kashmir based religious bodies, regional political parties and social organisations have maintained criminal silence over this sensitive issue.
Singh recalled when CAA (Citizen Amendment Act)  and Article 370 was annulled in 2019, there were widespread communal clashes that took place in different states of the country where thousands of Kashmiri students studying in different colleges felt insecure there. The  Sikh organisations came together and stood like rock to rescue the Kashmiri girls from Pune, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh and  airlifted them and handed over to their parents in Kashmir by risking their own lives.
DKSC president told reporters here that about 40 Sikh girls have been forcibly converted and married off by conversion since 1990. He stated that the nexus of some officers who also played the role of abetting the forcible conversion created various obstacles for the families of the girls  who were abducted and not getting justice till date.
He appealed to the Central Government to take cognizance of the misdeeds done by the administrative machinery, some black sheep in judiciary and other vested interests in the latest developments in which four young Sikh girls were forcibly married with elderly persons.
National Sikh Front president Kulwant Singh Bhatti and Kashmir Sikh Society chief TP Singh also demanded a law as enacted in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh to check this menace.