Thursday, May 19, 2011
Hindus and Sikhs of Hassanabdal town blocked the G T Road with the body of Kanhaiya Lal, a 70-year-old shopkeeper who was shot dead on Wednesday evening while he was returning home from his shop.
Hindus and Sikhs had protested outside the hospital where his body was taken for autopsy.
The members of the two communities expressed resentment at the insecurity of minorities across Pakistan during the protest.
On Thursday morning, the body was handed over to the shopkeeper’s relatives for cremation.
As a large number of Hindus and the Sikhs led by PML-N parliamentarian Araish Kumar were taking the body to the Indus river for cremation, some people placed the body in the middle of the G T Road and blocked the traffic.
They shouted slogans against the killing of Lal and alleged that minorities were not being provided adequate security across the country.
Traffic on the Rawalpindi-Peshawar stretch of the G T Road and Hassanabdal-Hazara road was suspended due to the protest.
The protesters demanded that Lal’s killers should be arrested and Hindus and Sikhs living in the area should be provided adequate security.
Lawmaker Kumar said the murder had created fear and insecurity among minorities. The government had completely failed to protect minorities, who were being killed and abducted, he alleged.
The minorities were also being threatened by influential people of the area, he said.
Kumar said he would raise the murder in parliament.
Lal shifted to Hassanabdal from Battagram after the October 2005 earthquake.
He was a spiritual healer and a large number of Muslims and non-Muslims frequently visited him for treatment of diseases.
66-year-old Ram Singh Sodho, a prominent Hindu politician of the opposition PML-Q from southern Sindh province, moved to India to settle with relatives after tendering his resignation in January.