Wednesday, September 08, 2010
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) on Wednesday issued an urgent appeal to the Pakistani leadership to rehabilitate a Hindu community, settled in the Mirpur Khas district of Sindh, in its original settlement from where it was forced to flee on false charges under the dreaded blasphemy law.
The AHRC has launched a signature campaign to mobilise support for the Hindu community of Bheemo Mal Megwar Para in the Mir Wah Gorchani area. The community is about 60-family strong and most of them had abandoned their homes after a mob attacked them on Monday on the premise that someone among them had written blasphemous slogans on the wall of a mosque in the neighbourhood.
According to the AHRC appeal, their houses were searched early in the morning after an “eyewitness” claimed to have seen the slogan-writer run towards Bheemo Mal Megwar — a registered Hindu colony since Partition. Though the search apparently yielded no results, the loudspeaker of the mosque was used to provoke an attack on the colony.
The police and Rangers were called in to control the mob, which burnt down three houses. In the melee, one person, Mohammad Imran, was killed and a policeman injured. Six members of the Hindu community were arrested while most others fled the area. The AHRC appeal also drew attention to the fact that Pir Ayub Jan Sarhandi — who publicly claims to have converted numerous Hindus to Islam in interior Sindh — attended Imran's funeral.
While demanding action against those who instigated the violence, the AHRC has sought compensation for Imran's family. The attack on the community is seen as a bid by local land mafia to grab their land, as a similar strategy was adopted with success by land grabbers against the Hindus in the Soomra area of the district last year.
With the Hindus making for 41 per cent of its population, Mirpur Khas is second to the lone Hindu majority district in the country — adjoining Tharparkar; also in the Sindh province, which is home to 95 per cent of the community in Pakistan.