Shahid Nazir Bhatt, who was arrested on June 23 on charges of abduction, criminal intimidation and forced conversion for marriage, of a Sikh woman Manmeet Kaur, his love of six years, said that he would legally fight to get his wife back.
According to a report by The Print, Shahid married Manmeet on 5 June, without the knowledge of her parents. It was around the same time that she allegedly converted to Islam and took the name Zoya.
A case was filed on a complaint lodged by Manmeet’s father on 21 June, a day after she allegedly fled home to be with Shahid. On 23 June, Shahid was arrested on charges of kidnapping and criminal intimidation, and at the centre of allegations of forcible conversion.
Addressing a press conference in Srinagar on June 28, Akali Dal leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa alleged that four Sikh women had been “forcibly converted and married off” in Jammu and Kashmir.
According to the report, Shahid will fight to get her back legally and won't back down. He said Manmeet had given a statement in the court that she had converted by her own will and that they had a nikah. “Her parents, however, forcefully took her away and then got her married. They tricked her", added Shahid.
“I never asked her to change her religion. It was her choice. Had I held her at gunpoint, would she leave her home for me? Also, if she was mentally unstable, how would she give a coherent statement before the magistrate? Why would the other man marry her?” Shahid said.
“They snatched away my love, my legally wedded wife, while I was in jail. How can they do that? My heart broke when I saw her wedding pictures soon after I came out of the prison. I felt enraged and helpless at the same time”, he told ThePrint.