Hindu Community of Pakistan outraged after 3 men where assassinated on Eid! Eid!
Medical professionals killed for alleged rape despite lack of evidence. Rural Justice circumvents existing policing structures!
On Eid day (Monday 7th October) unidentified gunmen opened fire on a clinic killing three members of the Hindu community including a doctor and two businessmen and injuring two others.
Dr Ajit Kumar, Naresh Kumar and Ashok Kumar where identified as the victims of the killing spree. A doctor Satahpal has also sustained a gunshot wound and is being cared for in a Karachi Hospital.
The final rites of the dead took place on Tuesday at the Sathu Bela temple near Sukkur.
On Tuesday the Express tribune of Pakistan described the incident:
The Hindu community in Shikarpur had been in conflict with the Muslim Bhayo community over an alleged case of sexual assault. The Muslim community alleged that three members of the Hindu community had sexually assaulted a girl from their community a few weeks ago and the Muslim community wanted to exact revenge.
The two communities had been locked in talks seeking a compromise. The three boys from the Hindu community were arrested after a police raid found them together with a hired dancing girl. Before a resolution could be reached, gunmen fired upon and killed a Hindu doctor and two businessmen, relatives to the arrested Hindu men.
Dr Pardeep, a relative of the victims, told The Express Tribune that people belonging to the Bhayo community used to extort the Hindu community passing around “chits” to the Hindu families in the Chak town with demands inscribed. While the extortion sum had been paid on numerous occasions, the community had stopped giving the sum for the past few months. “They would ask us to either pay the money or face consequences,” Dr Pradeep added.
“It was a high profile case (the arrests) and people of Bhayo community were seeking revenge from the Hindus,” Pitanbar Sewani, an elected representative of the Hindu community belonging to Sukkur district said. Hindu community alleged that despite numerous requests, the Police had failed to provide them with adequate protection, “we have asked the police for protection many times, but DPO Shikarpur did not listen to us,” he said.
With regards to the case and charges of sexual assault on those arrested, Sewani said that there was no medical report that proved rape had taken place, “we tried our best for a compromise to be reached and avert any bloodshed, however people of the Bhayo community refused and said they will take revenge,” he said.
The case has gained significance with ministers and MNA being sent to look into the matter with apparently direct orders from President Zardari himself. Pakistan Peoples Party MNA Ramesh Lal and Sindh Minister for Minority Affairs Dr Mohan Lal Kohistani attended the final rites of the deceased. Afterwards, while speaking to the media, they said that they had arrived on the directives of President Zardari and assured the Hindu community that the culprits would be arrested soon.
Talking to The Express Tribune DIG Larkana Saen Rakhio Mirani said that they had arrested 13 suspects. “The relatives of deceased have not lodged a case. Once a case is lodged we will arrest the culprits irrespective of what their influence is,” he said.
Meanwhile, various nationalist parties in Sindh have demanded the arrest of the gunmen within 72 hours, following which they will announce a province wide strike.
The BPCA calls on Christians to pray for this beleaguered community and condemns the violence. There are legal protocols to follow when accusing others of a crime, the vigilante behaviour shown by the Bhayo Muslim community simply cannot be condoned and highlights the low value of minority faith people in Pakistan. The BPCA hopes the Pakistani government will complete its duty to the Hindu community, and arrest the culprits of this audacious crime. Moreover, we shall be emailing the High Commissioner for Pkaistan in the UK, calling for adequate protection to be provided to this community, so they can safely challenge for justice.