Kiran Bala, who left as a part of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) delegation on April 12, allegedly went missing on April 16.
In a startling incident, a Sikh woman who was on a religious visit to Pakistan has not returned home in India. The reports reaching her family in Punjab have indicated that she has converted to Islam and married a Lahore-based Pakistan national. Speaking to media, Tarsem Singh, her father in law alleged that she could have fallen into the hands of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), and may have been forced to convert and remarry there. The woman, Kiran Bala, who left as a part of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) delegation on April 12, allegedly went missing on April 16.
Her Pakistan visa was valid till April 21. The matter is also reported widely in Pakistan media. Some reports said that the woman from Punjab’s Hoshiarpur embraced Islam from Darul-Aloom Jamia Naeemia in Lahore on April 16 and later performed ‘nikah’ (marriage) with Muhammed Azam.
Azam is said to be a resident of Hanjarwal Multan Road in Lahore. However, suspicion grew as a woman’s name in her application for extension of the Pakistan visa is typed as Amna Bibi, while the signature has been done as Amina. A report in Daily Times said the woman sought extension of visa citing “threats of assassination” to her life in India before Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad. The News, another Pakistan-based news website, also posted pictures of the woman and her visa extension application.
31-year-old Bala is a widow and a mother of three. The woman was living with her in-laws at their village house in Garhshankar sub-division of Punjab, around 90 km from Chandigarh.
The three kids are living with their aged grandparents. IANS reports Bala’s husband had passed away in 2013. “I had dropped my daughter-in-law with SGPC officials in Amritsar on April 10 for the pilgrimage in Pakistan. The ‘jatha’ is expected to return on April 21,” Singh said.
He added that no one has contacted him officially from the SGPC and the foreign ministry, adding, that he wants her daughter-in-law to be returned safely. A religious teacher in his village, Singh alleged that Kiran could be in touch with the Pakistani man through social media, particularly Facebook. The man further said that she was using the phone frequently in the past one year.
Around 1,700 Indians had gone to Pakistan on a pilgrimage to Panja Sahib Gurdwara near Lahore and Nankana Sahib — the birth place of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev, on the occasion of Baisakhi on April 13.