A Sikh widow who went to Pakistan on pilgrimage has converted to Islam and married a man in Lahore she said she had met on social media.
Kiran Bala, 31, from Garhshankar town in Hoshiarpur, left behind three young children with her father-in-law to marry Muhammad Azam, who she says she has known for over a year and a half.
Indian authorities are wondering if she was coerced into converting and marrying the Lahore resident. The Shiromani Gurdwara Management Committee has alleged that it amounts to a failure on the part of Indian intelligence officials.
Every year, before pilgrims are sent to Pakistan in a “jatha”, their passports are inspected by Indian authorities and many applications are rejected. The present jatha has about 1,800 people.
While Kiran, who has now taken the name Amna Bibi, claims she married and converted to Islam of her own accord, her father-in-law, former granthi (Sikh priest) Tarsem Singh, has appealed to foreign minister Sushma Swaraj to help him bring Kiran back.
Talking over the phone from Lahore on Thursday, Amna Bibi said, “It was not on Facebook (that we met), it was social media.”
She, however, refused to say which social media account she had used. “I did everything by myself, no one forced me to do anything,” she insisted. She then hung up, saying, “Please don’t disturb me, I am in court and busy now.”
Kiran’s father-in-law, Tarsem Singh spoke and said, “My daughter-in-law called and said that she has converted to Islam & got re-married in Pakistan. I want to request the Prime Minister, CM of Punjab to take her out of this situation. I suspect she might have fallen into the hands of ISI.”
My daughter-in-law called & said that she has converted to Islam & got re-married in Pakistan. I want to request the Prime Minister, CM of Punjab to take her out of this situation. I suspect she might have fallen into the hands of ISI: Tarsem Singh, Father-in-Law of the woman. pic.twitter.com/e2MhzQr5pV
— ANI (@ANI) April 19, 2018
Amna had left for Pakistan with an SGPC-led jatha to celebrate Baisakhi via the Attari land border on April 12. On April 16, she went to Lahore-based Darul-Ulaoom Naeemia and embraced Islam. Then she married Azam.>