Grooming and Conversion

Source: World Sikh News  Written by Harjot Singh Saturday, June 09, 2007,

police LONDON: In a sensational piece of news, the Birmingham Mail has reported that a teenage Sikh girl was being guarded by police after claims that she had been forced to convert to Islam.

An armed gang smashed their way into a house in Erdington last month and threatened the occupants, apparently in search of the girl.

She was reported missing from her family home in West Bromwich a few days earlier.

They are concerned that the girl, understood to be a student at Sutton Coldfield college, could have been forced to switch religion, it was reported.

"This lady has been located and is currently in the care of West Midlands Police," a force spokesman said, assuring community members that the girl was "safe and well".

An investigation was launched on May 25 following the aggravated burglary in Erdington when masked men broke into the house and threatened the occupants with weapons, possibly believing the girl was staying there. Police said no one was injured in the incident.

The police is also inquiring into the motive behind the attack, and has not ruled out the possibility this may be linked to a report received concerning the whereabouts of an 18-year-old female from West Bromwich, who was reported missing by her family.

A spokesman for Birmingham City Council said: "We are working closely with the police to deal with a number of sensitive issues being raised by members of the community and will be working together with other interested parties to consider the wider and longer term implications for the city."

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