By Amar Guriro
KARACHI: Despite the passage of a month, police authorities and the provincial government of Sindh have completely failed in recovering a young Hindu nurse Bano.
According to details Bano went missing since the morning of August 16, 2009 when she left her home to attend her duty at a local welfare hospital. Though the police have arrested her coworker Gulzar, but there is no evidence of her presence. Gulzar told the police that she had accepted Islam and married her lover Jaffer, however, her parents fear that she is killed.
The Sindh Assembly was informed during the last session that incidents of kidnapping of Hindu community members, especially young girls’ and forced conversions have increased recently throughout the province. The assembly was also informed that in four months of the current year approximately 30 to 35 minority members had been kidnapped, one of them was killed and 18 Hindu girls had been converted to Islam.
“The incidents of kidnapping our community girls’ have recently increased alarmingly and despite our repeated protests and approaches to the higher authorities, nothing has so far been done to protect the community members,” said Narain Das, uncle of the kidnapped Bano and chieftain of Hindu Maheshwari community. “Kidnappers have recently kidnapped several girls as young as thirteen and fourteen years old.”
About 30,000 members of Hindu Maheshwari community are living in Kumbar Mohala in the historical town of Lyari. Bano was also a resident of the same area. She was working as a professional nurse at a local welfare hospital. Das told that on August 16, 2009, Bano told her family that there is a medical camp in Memon village and she is going with her hospital colleague Gulzar, but she never returned. “On the same morning Gulzar came to our house and asked for Bano, but when we said that she left with him, he refused and suggested her family to search in the mortuaries of local hospitals as he claimed that she might have committed suicide,” said Narain.
He blamed that the hospital owner might be involved in her kidnapping. “But the hospital owner and his wife are so influential that the police have not even registering the FIR against them, Gulzar told us that she accepted Islam and got married, we agreed if she really converted and got married at her own wish, but at least she must be produced before any court, so that her statement could be taken that she went on her own free will,” he demanded.
However, on contacting the Provincial Minister Dr Daya Ram Essrani, he said that a minority MPA has taken the issue to the Sindh chief minister and the CM has assured of her immediate recovery. He said the CM has assigned the Provincial Minister for Excise and Taxation Mukesh Kumar Chawala to look into the matter and report whatever is going on.
On contact the Provincial Minister for Minority Affairs Dr Mohan Lal condemned the incident and said that the current government would ensure the safety of all the minority communities living in the province. “I would personally talk to the police authorities and will ensure her release as soon as possible,” said Lal.
However, despite repeated attempts, Mukesh Kumar Chawal could not come on the line to issue the updates.