An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan sentenced three (out of the eight Muslims accused) to imprisonment along with a fine for forced kidnapping, conversion, and marriage of a Sikh girl in 2019. The court sentenced Muhammad Ehsan to jail for two years. The other two, Muhammad Salman and Muhammad Ahmed, were penalized with six months in prison and a fine of Rs 10,000 each.
Of note; India.com specifies (above), that Muhammad Ehsan was sentenced to two years along with the other two men sentenced. However, the Clarion India news report differs, stating that Imran Chishti, Ehsan’s older brother, was the man sentenced to two years. The Clarion news report is noted below.
All three were found guilty of vandalism and inciting violence by assembling others to target and attack the Nankana Sahib Gurdwara, a Sikh place of worship. The other five accused were acquitted by the court.
The case gained legal attention after a Nankana Sahib resident, Jagjit Kaur, was forcibly taken from her home by Muhammad Ehsan and his family. They later forced Kaur to convert to Islam and marry Ehsan, changing her name from Jagjit Kaur to Ayesha.
The matter gained global attention when the Sikh community demanded that Pakistan Prime Minister, Imran Khan, honor his claims about the protection of minority communities in the country and ensure the return of Kaur to her family. The community also presented significant allegations regarding the forced conversion of minorities in Pakistan.
In January 2020, many local Muslims gathered outside the Nankana Sahib Gurdwara, where Sikhs gather to worship. The Muslims chanted slogans, maintaining that the Sikh community was using its influence, and called Kaur aka Ayesha, a Muslim under the Muslim community's protection in Nankana Sahib.
Legal authorities registered a First Information Report (FIR) against eight suspects, accusing them of inciting people against the Sikh community, which resulted in spreading panic among the locals.
Clarion India news reported that; Imran Chishti was sentenced to jail for two years, while Muhammad Salman and Muhammad Ahmed were awarded six months imprisonment along with a fine of Rs 10,000 each. The court maintained that the accused were found guilty of inciting violence by gathering people to target and attack the Sikh community.
A violent mob attacked the Gurdwara in January 2020. The Muslim group threw stones and threatened to destroy the Sikhs' worship place. However, the police controlled the situation.
The Pakistan court arrested Chishti, a government employee who works in the Fisheries Department. The other suspects faced terrorism and blasphemy charges following the Gurdwara attack a year ago, specific violations noted under sections 295A, 290, 291, 341,506, 148, and 149 Pakistan Penal Code and 7-ATA (anti-terrorism act).
Chishti incited the mob, according to the FIR. Chishti is Mohammad Hassan's elder brother. Hassan married the teenage Sikh girl, Jagjit Kaur against her will after the family kidnapped her and forced her to convert to Islam. According to police, Chishti deliberately misled the area's Muslim people against the Sikhs for his "family matter."