Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bolangir, May 31:
While Prime Minister Narendra Modi has held out a hand of friendship to Pakistan and efforts are on to foster friendship between the two neighbours, a young girl from Odisha’s district headquarter town of Bolangir has landed up in Pakistan as a daughter-in-law, thanks to social networking site Facebook, which has replaced the ubiquitous aunt as the matchmaker.
However, the girl’s family here in Bolangir is not at ease with the development and has lodged a complaint on May 28 at the local Town police station saying she has gone missing, after Pakistani and international media reported about her elopement.
“We have started an investigation and looking at all the angles. We are probing whether she has indeed gone to Pakistan,” said Tariq Ahmed, inspector in-charge Bolangir, Town police station.
International media reported four days back that Pratima Sahoo (26) fell for a Pakistani national Muhammad Mansha (32) after coming in contact with him a few montsh ago through the social networking site Facebook.
A fortnight ago, Pratima went to Layyah, a district in Punjab province of Pakistan on a 90 day tourist visa, converted to Islam and got married to Mansha in a local mosque.
She reportedly changed her name to Maryam.
“I am extremely happy to find my love. I will apply for Pakistani citizenship at the earliest. I will love to stay with my husband and his parents,” she was quoted as saying in the Daily Mail.
“We had no idea that Pratima had gone to Pakistan,” her brother Pramod Sahoo said.
Pratima was associated with Prajapita Brahmakumari, a spiritual order and was staying at its Gandhinagar-pada ashram in Bolangir town as an associate of the ashram’s head Premlata Jena.
A surprised ashram head Premlata said she had no idea that her colleague Pratima had left the order and got married in Pakistan. She said while leaving the ashram Pratima had told her that she would be visiting her aunt.
Police sources said, way back in September 17, 2013 Brahmakumari Premlata and Pratima had visited the Town police station for tatkal passport verification. Both had sought the police’s cooperation in the matter, they added.
Sources said Pratima had befriended Mansha on the Facebook six months back which later blossomed into love.