Rinkle’s new life raises old questions
Activists suspect a ruling party legislator’s role in her conversion
Rinkle Kumari’s case exemplifies how political might and brute force are used to oppress Hindus in Pakistan and forcibly convert girls. The role of a Pakistan Peoples Party ( PPP) legislator, Mian Abdul Haq alias Mian Mitho, is being questioned by civil right activists.
Quoting reports in local newspapers, they allege that Haq has been involved in buying and selling of Hindu girls, a charge he denies forcefully. Haq seems to have played a major role in the Rinkle case as his sons and armed supporters roamed the roads of Ghotki in Sindh and the premises of the civil court with impunity. It was in Haq’s house in Islamabad that INDIA TODAY met Rinkle, now Fariyal Shah, on April 21. Her transformation was complete and she was ready with a brand new story.
But with husband Naveed Shah waiting outside in a white Land Cruiser, its engine running, she had to make it quick. “I embraced Islam just to marry the man of my own choice,’’ she said about the man she said she had never met before in her statement to Pakistan’s Supreme Court. Asked about Haq, she said, “Naveed and I already knew that he encourages Hindus to convert to Islam and fa- cilitate their marriage, besides giving them protection.’’
Civil right activists do not buy Rinkle’s new story and say the teenager is under pressure. Human right activists, led by columnist Marvi Sirmed, demanded at a press conference in Islamabad on April 17 that Haq’s activities be investigated.
RINKLE KUMARI (LEFT) WITH HER HUSBAND NAVEED SHAH