A Pakistani court ruled today that Rinkle Kumari, a young Hindu woman whose disappearance has sparked protests, must appear before judges next week, the BBC reported.
Kumari’s family says she was kidnapped and forced to marry her Muslim husband, Naveed Shah. Shah’s friends say Kumari, who is reported to be between 17 and 19 years of age, left on her own accord and converted to Islam. The facts of the case remain murky.
Sikhs and Christians came together to rally in support of Kumari in Karachi on Sunday, according to The Hindu.
More from GlobalPost: Top India CEO warns of slowdown
Sindh High Court Chief Justice Mushir Alam today ordered the city authorities to find Kumari and bring her to court by March 12 as part of a hearing in the case filed by her uncle, according to India Press Trust.
The case has become politically loaded in Pakistan, with President Asif Ali Zardari personally calling for an investigatation amid accusations targeting Mian Abdul Haq, a powerful member of parliament in the governing Pakistan People’s Party, whom the Hindu community says is behind the affair.
Haq told the BBC today that he did everything he could to contact Kumari’s family, but was not successful, adding, “I was left with no choice but to convert her to Islam and get her married [according to] her will.”
Rights activists have raised concerns about the treatment of Hindis in Pakistan, and Sindh province is home to the majority of them.
Kumari went missing from her home in Sindh province on February 24.
India Press Trust said her family, fearing reprisals, has since fled to Lahore.