Friday, November 11, 2011

4 Hindu doctors gunned down in Pakistan

SHIKARPUR, Nov 8th 2011: Unidentified men gunned down four Hindu doctors in Chak town, near Shikarpur, on Monday, the Bakar Eid Day in a vendetta over a dancing girl with a tribe. Actually, the slaughtering of cows in Bakri Eid day is no sufficient for the Muslims to hurt the Hindu sentiment. From this initiation the Muslims may try to cut some Hindus also in every Bakri Eid under their New Jihad regulations.

“Two men riding a motorcycle sprayed a clinic with bullets, killing the four Hindu men and injuring a paramedic,” Ramesh Kumar, chief of the Pakistan Hindu Council, said.

The dead men were identified as Ajeet Kumar, Naresh Kumar, Ashok Kumar and Satyapal.

Naresh Kumar and Ashok died instantly while Dr Ajeet Kumar and Dr Satyapal were taken to Sukkur’s Civil Hospital, where Dr Ajeet Kumar and Satyapal died of injuries.

The incident drew immediate attention of the President and the prime minister. After their intervention Sindh Home Minister Manzoor Hussain Wassan visited Chak town and assured the victims’ relatives that the government was determined to bring the culprits to book.

Mr Wassan ordered suspension of the SHO of Chak police station while police arrested an unknown number of suspects during raids at suspected hideouts.

On Tuesday, provincial minister Agha Sirajuddin Durrani also visited Chak and expressed condolences with relatives of the dead. Shikarpur PPP president Mir Badal Khan Bahyo accompanied the minister.

Ramesh Kumar, the Hindu Council chief, told AFP that a dispute had been brewing for the past three weeks between the Hindu community and the Baban Khan Bhayo tribe after Hindu boys brought a Muslim dancing girl to the area.

“Police raided the house where the girl was dancing and arrested four boys,” said Ramesh Kumar.

The issue was referred to a jirga, which decided to arbitrate over the case after Eid holidays, but before that could happen the
matter took a gruesome turn, he added.

Members of the Hindu community began a three-day mourning in response to a call by the Hindu Council and the Hindu Punchayat Committee.

The Hindu community asked police to give them protection after receiving threatening calls warning of “serious consequences”.

LAST RITES: The last rites of the four men were conducted at Shikarpur’s Sadhu Bela temple, along the Indus, on Tuesday evening.

A large number of Hindus attended the rites. Prominent among them were Sindh Minister Mohan Lal, PPP MNA Lal Chan, PML MNA Darshan Lal and Jeay Sindh leader Bashir Khan Qureshi.

Earlier, angry members of the Hindu community took the bodies from Chak to Sukkur Press Club and carried out a sit-in, calling for arrest of the killers.

The incident caused panic in the area, which is a part of the constituency of NA-203 where PML-Q’s federal minister Ghous Bux Khan Mahar was declared the winner in a by-election last month on 47 polling stations against PPP’s candidate Wahid Bux Khan Bhayo.

Shikarpur SSP Junaid Ahmed Shaikh said a police operation was in progress at various places for the arrest of culprits.

Seventeen suspects from Bhayo community have been arrested.

An FIR was registered on Tuesday against 15 Bhayo clansmen for the triple murder.

Relatives of the victims expressed their dissatisfaction over the FIR and termed it a fabricated one to give benefit of doubt to the accused.

According to them, they would lodge another FIR to “bring facts to light”.

"This is not the first time such an incident has taken place where members of our community have been targeted. What is of concern is that the law enforcement agencies tend to support the criminals involved in such acts," Dr Kumar said.

"There is a strong population of around 50,000 Hindus in Chak so for such an incident to happen is bad and the government must take notice of it and provide protection to the minorities," Kumar demanded.

Police said they had arrested two of the people involved in the killings and were searching for the other culprits.

A police official confirmed that the killings could have been the result of a dispute between some Hindus and the local Bhaya Baradari that took place two weeks back over a Hindu girl.

Kumar said minorities were well protected and secure when military strongman Pervez Musharraf was the President but now they had become prey to open terrorism and crime.

Condemning the murders, the Pakistan Hindu Council appealed to President Asif Zardari, the Chief Justice of Pakistan and the Army Chief to take note of the targeting of Hindus in parts of Sindh.

President Zardari took "serious note" of the attack and directed authorities to immediately arrest those responsible and bring them to justice.

Zardari had sought an immediate report on the incident, presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar said in Islamabad.

Zardari instructed Ramesh Lal, a Hindu parliamentarian from Sindh, to go to the village and convey his condolences to the bereaved families.

The President said it was the "moral and legal responsibility of the government to protect members of the minority community against vandalism and atrocities".

Babar quoted Zardari as saying that the "law would take its course and the culprits will not go unpunished".

Ramesh Kumar, chief of the Pakistan Hindu Council, said the Hindu community had sought protection from police after receiving anonymous calls threatening them with “serious consequences”.

Sindh police Inspector General Mushtaq Shah also confirmed the explanation for the incident and the casualties.

Hindus make up less than two percent of the population of this Muslim nation of 175 million people.