Thursday, June 10, 2010
Gopinath Kumar said “Islamic terror is rising against religious minorities (Hindus and Christians) in Pakistan which invites immediate attention of Government of Pakistan” and International Communities. Not satisfied by the arrest of man said to be involved in the on a Hindu temple in Mithi on Sunday, We wants a proper inquiry as they believe that “religious attacks have significantly increased in the past”.
KARACHI : Members of the Pakistan Hindu Council called a press conference on Wednesday to protest the attack on the Nainu Ram Ashram Temple in Mithi, Tharparkar, and other similar attacks against Hindus recently.
Patron of PHC Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani accused a man named Foto Bageer of the attack. “He entered the temple to drink water but started breaking and destroying religious material, statues and photos,” Vankwani told The Express Tribune.
Dr Vankwani believes that a proper inquiry into the matter should be conducted as “this is an act of blasphemy that harmed our religious sanctity”. The Hindu community demands an inquiry by the government, he said.
After the attack, Hindu businessmen closed their shops and markets in protest, affecting the entire population of the area, said President PHC Raja Assermal Manglani.
“There is no religious friction between Muslims and Hindus,” he insisted, adding that such attacks are part of a conspiracy to spread hatred between the two communities.
He further added such attacks have increased and Hindus are being forced to convert to Islam, kidnapped for ransom or abducted under the garb of blasphemy.
The Tharparkar region is a Hindu majority area, where they make up 55 per cent of the region’s population of 0.6 million. The Hindus here have lived in peace with the Muslims up till now; but they now fear further attacks on their faith.
The Nainu Ram Ashram, located in the desert part of Tharparkar, is one of the biggest Hindu temples in Pakistan. “The annual mela at the temple attracts over 50,000 people of which 50 per cent are Muslims,” said Vankhvani.
Narrating another similar attack, Vankwani said that a Hindu man and his son were kidnapped and killed in Quetta three months ago. Four men also 250 Hindu women at one of their religious gathering in Kandhkot and several women were forcibly converted to Islam in Sukkur, he said.
“Almost 70 per cent of the Hindu population has been through such attacks one way or the other,” he added.
The Hindus are not just being targeted personally but their religion is also being marginalised as their temples have either been taken over by the government or residents living near the temples, complained Vankwani. There are hardly 10 or 11 Hindu places of worship left in Karachi.
The Hindu community managed to get permission to renovate the 1,000-year-old Shri Varun Dev Mandir at Manora Island during the time of the previous government. “Even now we do not have complete ownership of the temple and the Navy authorities have asked us to pay Rs0.6 million before starting construction,” he said.
Vankwani stressed that, for Hindus, the main issue is security. “We have no cooperation or cover from law and order agencies,” he said. Despite its historically zero crime rate, cases of attacks and violence have gradually increased in Tharparkar and the police have no control over them.
Dr Amarnath Motumal, an advocate and council member of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, told PAKISTAN HINDU POST that cases of forced conversions in Sindh are increasing by the day.
The victims never come out to complain so there is a shortage of concrete facts and data but proof can be obtained by viewing the list of new conversions to Islam specifically in interior Sindh where the phenomenon is rampant, he suggested.