Hindu woman battling conversion claims in Malaysia

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George Town (Malaysia), Nov. 25 (ANI): A Hindu born woman in Malaysia is fighting a court battle to prove that she was not converted to Islam by her father when she was one year old.

Earlier, the Penang Social Welfare Department had claimed that S. Banggarma, 27, and her siblings were converted to Islam in 1983.

Banggarma's lawyer Gooi Hsiao Leung refuted the claim saying that his client was issued a conversion certificate when she was seven years old in 1989.

"Clearly, you cannot be converted twice. The claim is inconsistent and contradictory to the conversion certificate signed by Banggarma on Dec 28, 1989 whilst under the care of a government welfare home in Kepala Batas," The Star Online quoted Gooi, as saying.

"We will be writing to the Welfare Department director-general to ask them to verify their allegation and furnish Banggarma with the documents they say are in their possession regarding an alleged conversion by Banggarma's father on Nov 30, 1983," Gooi added.

Banggarma claimed it would have been impossible for the 1983 conversion to have happened as her younger sister was not even born then.

"Three of my siblings were placed in the welfare home along with me and we all have conversion certificates dated Dec 28, 1989. How could my father have converted us in 1983 when my sister was not even born?" Banggarma asked.

Banggarma's case came to light last week when she approached Gooi to get her marriage registered with the National Registration Department.

Despite going through a traditional Hindu marriage ceremony in 2001, Banggarma is unable to register her marriage or name her husband as the father of her two children in their birth certificates as she is listed as a Muslim, while her husband is a Hindu. (ANI)

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