A massive protest outside the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi turned violent Monday after a second Sikh girl was allegedly kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam over the weekend.
Protesters were prevented from submitting a memorandum at the Pakistan High Commission, at which point the protests became violent as demonstrators pushed back against police and overwhelmed security barricades, with many climbing over police posts and chanting anti-Pakistan slogans.
Delhi: Members of Sikh community protest against forceful conversion of minorities in Pakistan. They are also demanding the safety of Sikh families residing there. A Sikh girl was allegedly abducted and converted to Islam in Pakistan. pic.twitter.com/ZEe292vgi3
— ANI (@ANI) September 2, 2019
The girl was reportedly in a relationship with a classmate, Babar Aman, whose brother has been arrested since news of her disappearance broke.
External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar condemned the recent abductions, conversions and forced marriages. An 18-year-old daughter of a priest was recently abducted at gunpoint before being forced to marry a Muslim man.
The civil society & the people of India have strongly condemned the recent deplorable incidents of forced abduction, conversion & marriage of two Sikh girls in Pakistan. We have reflected these strong concerns with Pakistan and have asked for immediate remedial action.
— Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) September 1, 2019
The high-profile abductions and subsequent protests come at a time of heightened tensions between India and Pakistan, following a prolonged spate of cross border incidents at the Kashmir border since February.
On Saturday at around 5:50 pm, Punjab Border Kisan welfare society burnt the effigy of Imran Khan and demanded justice for Sikhs in Pakistan and stern action against abductors of Jagjit Kaur, daughter of Granthi of Gurudwara Tamboo Sahib in Pakistan. pic.twitter.com/6sX5PcX3ge
— Prasar Bharati News Services (@PBNS_India) September 1, 2019
Protesters burned an effigy of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan over the weekend while venting their anger at the treatment of religious minorities in Pakistan.