Protest outside Pak’s Gurdwara Nankana Sahib

Islamabad: Scores of protesters surrounded the Gurdwara Nankana Sahib in Pakistan’s Punjab province, threatening to overrun the Sikh holy site if their demands for the release of suspects in an alleged forced conversion case were not met, it was reported.

However, the protesters dispersed after several hours on Friday evening following successful negotiations with government representatives, which led to the release of the arrested persons, reports Dawn news.

The protest was led by the family of a man, Ehsan, who was accused of forcibly converting a Sikh girl, Jagjit Kaur, earlier this year.

On August 28, 2019, an FIR was filed in the Nankana police station against six people who were accused of abducting and forcefully converting the 19-year-old.

The police subsequently traced the suspects to Lahore and detained one of them. Later, the woman had submitted a written statement in the court, stating that she had converted to Islam and married Ehsan of her own free will. She also accused her family of “wanting to kill me”.

On Friday, Ehsan’s family alleged that police had raided their home and detained several family members, including Ehsan, ahead of the next court hearing scheduled for January 9.

“Today, police personnel raided our home and arrested my brother and relatives after torturing them,” Dawn news quoted Ehsan’s sister as saying while addressing the media outside the Gurdwara, claiming that the police also tortured women and children present in the house.

District Police Officer of Nankana Sahib, Ismail Kharak, said that the suspects were arrested on the basis of a complaint filed by a citizen regarding a dispute.

He did not, however, comment on the family’s allegations.

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