Sewa Nyaya Utthan Foundation

Service. Justice. Inclusion.

A Muslim woman, her parents and a cleric in Kanpur allegedly brainwashed a minor Hindu boy to convert and marry her.

Simran, daughter of Mohd Haneef and Jameela Bano, coerced Nikhil Singh (16) to marry her. She is a divorcee and has two kids from a previous marriage. Reportedly, she lured the boy, and her family groomed him for a year before the conversion.

Sewa Nyaya Uththan Foundation (SNUF) filed a complaint with the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) for Nikhil. The Commission took prompt action and brought Nikhil home after police arrested Simran, her parents and the cleric who led the Nikah.

Nikhil’s story reminds us that young Hindu boys are just as vulnerable to these vile traps as Hindu girls.

Similar crimes targeting minor Hindu

Nikhil’s case isn’t an isolated story of an underage Hindu falling prey to conversion Nikah. There is a well-reported pattern in such crimes targeting the Hindu community, especially in countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh, where Hinduphobia is a common and permitted practice.

For example, in Pakistan, every month, grooming gangs from the majority community abduct and forcibly convert as many as 20 underage Hindu girls, who can never see or connect with their families again. What’s worse is that such gangs force these girls to marry much older Muslim men (or sell them into prostitution).

Such crimes are a regular affair, especially in the Sindh region. These abductors take pride in such heinous activities because they insist they are doing “good work”. Police, judiciary and the government have refused to investigate these cases.

In India, many states are looking for ways to counter ‘Love Jihad’ – a pattern of crimes wherein men from the Muslim community fake identities to lure Hindu women. They forge these relationships only for religious conversion and sexual exploitation. These men often conceal their religious and/or marital identity till the woman is completely disconnected from her family.

These patterns aren’t restricted to the sub-continent alone. In April, the UK stirred a diplomatic row with Pakistan when the British Home Secretary Suella Braverman called for a crackdown on “Grooming Gangs” led by British Pakistani men in England.

She said, “(We see) a practice whereby vulnerable white English girls — sometimes in care, sometimes in challenging circumstances — being pursued, raped, drugged, and harmed by gangs of British Pakistani men, who work in child abuse rings or networks.”