Protesting Hindus baton charged in Pak’s Sindh

KARACHI, Sept 7: Several members of Pakistan’s Hindu community and other faiths were injured today after the police in Sindh province baton charged them as they held a sit-in against the increasing cases of kidnappings of Hindu traders and others from minority communities for ransom.
The members of the minority communities have been staging the protest since September 1 over the abduction of some members of the minority community by bandits in riverine areas in southern Sindh province’s Kashmore.
Today, while the protesters continued with their agitation, the police baton charged and injured some of them after they refused to end the protest despite the intervention of an influential leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party that has governed the Sindh province for over a decade.
“Ahsan Mazari, a former minister and influential leader of the PPP joined the protesters initially to express solidarity with them and even got two kidnapped Hindu traders released from the grip of these riverine dacoits,” Shiva Kacchi said on the telephone.
He said that after the release of the two abductees, Mazari had asked the protesters to disperse and assured them the authorities would now handle the matter and get others released.
“But when those part of the protest flatly refused, insisting they had no confidence in the local police officials Mazari left and after a while the police baton charged the protesters. But despite the injuries they are still there in small numbers at the sit-in,” Kacchi said.
Kacchi said the dacoits had also abducted many members of other minority communities for ransom.
Dr Chand Mahar, one of the organisers of the protest, said that a total of 5 Hindus including a nine-year-old boy had been kidnapped by the dacoits in recent days and only a few days back a seven-year-old Hindu girl, Priya Kumari was also abducted from near Sanghar.
He said the spate of incidents where members of the community had been kidnapped by dacoits had spread fear in the community and they were afraid to even send their children to school in many parts of the province where these dacoits operated brazenly.
The protesters had gathered since Sunday evening in Kandhkot town after a 72-year-old Hindu businessman, Mukhi Jagdish was kidnapped.
Dacoits who operate from the riverine areas of Sindh have kidnapped around 40 people including Hindu traders in the last few months. (PTI)

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