A court on Friday allowed a girl who was ‘forcibly converted’ from Hinduism to Islam to live with her husband.

The Sindh High Court had ordered police to produce Ravita Meghwar — a Hindu girl who, as stated by her family, was kidnapped, converted and married off to a Muslim man without her consent — before the court.

The court had issued the directive on an application submitted by Ravita’s father, Satram Das Meghwar, through Advocate Bhagwandas, in opposition to her conversion and marriage.

Meghwar told the court that his daughter, who was 16 years old, had been unlawfully married off to Syed Nawaz Ali Shah after being abducted from her village near Nagarparkar Town on June 6.

Her name was changed to Gulnaz after the conversion. On the same day she got hitched to 36-year-old Shah at the marriage registrar’s office in union council Gulzar Khalil in Samaro of Umerkot district. Meghwar informed that his daughter was born on July 14, 2001.

His lawyer argued that the marriage under the age of 18 was an offence that could be penalised under the Sindh Child Marriages Restraint Act, 2013. He said the registrar had stated Shah’s year of birth (1980) and the national identity card number on the marriage certificate. Ravita’s age was shown as about 18 years, but there was no word of her NIC number.

On the same note, the lawyer informed, the certificate of conversion to Islam also did not state her date of birth and NIC number, but her age was shown as 18 years.

“She was kidnapped from her house and forcibly married off to a man twice her age,” said Meghwar, who had lodged an FIR against Ali Nawaz Shah, Madad Ali Shah, Umar Junejo and Sher Mohammad Junejo for abducting his daughter. The FIR was filed under Section 365 of the Pakistan Penal Code at the Dano Dandhal police station in Nangarparkar taluka one week ago.

Former to these events, Shah and Ravita had filed in the SHC an application in search of protection and accusing the girl’s parents of issuing death threat. The court had set June 30 the date of hearing on the application.

Ravita had pleaded to her parents to allow her live with her husband peacefully as, according to her, she had by her own consent decided to embrace Islam to marry the person of her choice.