Punjab woman on pilgrimage converts to Islam, marries Pak resident

Punjab woman on pilgrimage converts to Islam, marries Pak resident

A 31-year-old woman from Punjab's Hoshiarpur district, who went on a pilgrimage to Pakistan on April 12 ahead of Baisakhi festival as part of a delegation, has reportedly converted to Islam and married a Pakistan national based in Lahore.

The woman Kiran Bala, a widow, has three children and was staying with her parents-in-law in Punjab.

Her husband died in 2013. Kiran's father-in-law, Tarsem Singh, on Thursday added a new twist to the entire episode while expressing fear that his daughter-in-law may have fallen into the hands of Pakistan's ISI.

He claimed that she was forced to convert to Islam.

The woman was a part of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) delegation that left for Pakistan on April 12.

She went missing for four days in Pakistan. Now, she has applied for an extension of her visa in Pakistan, claiming a threat to her life in India, media reports said.

Kiran's Pakistan visa will expire on April 21.

According to reports, the woman converted to Islam from Darul-Aloom Jamia Naeemia in Lahore on April 16.

Later, the marriage was solemnised with one Muhammed Azam, a resident of Lahore. She now has a new name —  Amna Bibi.

Hundreds of Indian Sikh pilgrims had gone to Pakistan on the occasion of Baisakhi on April 13 to visit historical Sikh shrines, including Panja Sahib Gurdwara near Lahore and Nankana Sahib Sikh shrine, which is the birthplace of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev.

The pilgrimage to Pakistan has seen controversies over the week with officials of Pakistani agencies denying permission to Indian embassy officials based in Pakistan to meet the visiting delegation.

The family said they have not been contacted officially by the SGPC or any authority to authenticate the information pouring out of media reports.

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