Thursday, May 19, 2011
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Krishna Kumar
Date: Thu, May 19, 2011 at 2:26 PM
Subject: PAKISTAN: Young Hindu was abducted from police station by a religious mob and his whereabouts are unknown. Police refuse to investigate
Dear Mr. Asif Ali Zardari,
PAKISTAN: Young Hindu was abducted from police station by a religious mob and his whereabouts are unknown. Police refuse to investigate
Name of victims:
1.Mr. Mohabat Mal (22) son of Veero Mal, resident of Darhio Colony, opposite Tahir Hotel, Ring Road Mirpurkhas, Sindh province
2. Mr. Veero Mal, father of the victim, resident of Darhio Colony, opposite Tahir Hotel, Ring Road Mirpurkhas, Sindh province
3. Mr. Pyro Mal, maternal uncle of the victim, resident of Darhio Colony, opposite Tahir Hotel, Ring Road Mirpurkhas, Sindh province
4. Mr. Parro Mal, maternal uncle of victim, resident of Darhio Colony, opposite Tahir Hotel, Ring Road Mirpurkhas, Sindh province
Names of alleged perpetrators:
1.Maulvi Ahtesham Pathan, Pesh Imam (mosque leader) of Madani Masjid, Mirpurkhas, Sindh province
2. Maulvi Iftekhar Punjabi, resident of Madani Masjid, Mirpurkhas, Sindh province
3. Maulvi Maqsood Punjabi, resident of Madani Masjid, Mirpurkhas, Sindh province
4. Inspector Javed Pathan, station House Office (SHO), Satellite town police station, Mirpurkhas, Sindh province
5. Mr. Kanwar Singh Thakur, deputy superintendent of police (DSP), Mirpurkhas, Sindh province
6. Mr. Riaz Ahmed Soomro, district police officer (DPO) Mirpurkhas district, Sindh province
Date of incident: August 13, 2010
Place of incident: Satellite Town, Mirpurkhas, Sindh province
I am writing to voice my deep concern regarding the abduction and rape of a young Hindu man by a Muslim fundamentalist group and the indifferent attitude of the district police of Mirpurkhas to take legal action against the perpetrators.
I am shocked to know that a group from Madani Masjid (mosque) under the leadership of its Pesh Imam (mosque leader) abducted a young Hindu in order to force him to convert his religion. The victim was raped during his nine monthâ€™s captivity and was forced to sign plain papers that he has left the Hindu religion and converted to Islam. This practice had been common now for many years in the some areas of Sindh province bordering India where a sizable Hindu community live and are from scheduled castes.
I want to bring in your attention the case of Mr. Mohabat Mal son of Veero Mal, resident of Darhio Colony, opposite Tahir Hotel, Ring Road Mirpurkhas, Sindh province, was pursued by a group of Muslim religious leaders of the Madani mosque, Mirpurkhas, on August 13, 2010, the first day of holy month of Ramadan, to change his religion as they wanted to arrange his marriage with a girl from the Muslim community and would also provide a good social status as he was from Dalit community, a scheduled cast section of the Hindu religion. Mohabat Mal went along with Maulvi Ahtesham Patham, the leader of the mosque and his two accomplices, Maulvi Iftekhar Punjabi and Maqsood Punjabi. The victim was forced to sign the plain papers for his conversion. After some resistance from him the man was locked in the house of Ahtesham, adjacent to the mosque.
I am also informed that on April 4, 2011 he managed to run away from their custody and reached his house where he told his parents that he was abducted and sodomised by the Mosque leader and he was forced to sign plain papers and was declared as Muslim. The parents tried to file a complaint in the police station but some policemen informed the mosque leader. The mosque leader with more than 100 persons attacked his house and threatened the parents that they would face more trouble if they ever try to file the case. In the meanwhile Mohabat Mal contacted one Hindu community based human rights organization at Hyderabad, 70 kilometers from his city, the Mirpurkhas, to help him. The organization managed a lawyer who prepared a petition for Sindh High Court, Hyderabad, against his forced conversion of religion and his rape during his nine months of captivity. One day before the filing of the petition more than hundred people under the leadership of Pathan and other perpetrators attacked his house in Mirpukhas and the family was made hostage. The family was forced to contact Mohabat to surrender himself to them. The family also contacted police and police officials including the Station House Officer (SHO) of the Satellite Police Station, Mirpurkhas. Inspector Javed Pathan, assured the family that if victim surrender to the police then they will take him before the session court and record his statement. On police assurance he was contacted the next day by the parents to come to the house and present himself to the police. At this time he was at the high court to file the petition against the rapist and abductors but he left quickly to attend his family and record his statement. On the same day, May 12, he went to police station where a big mob amounting to hundreds of people were gathered outside. The police took him inside the police station to record his statement before producing him in sessionâ€™s court. Mosque leader, Ahtesham Pathan, delivered a fiery speech outside the police station and suddenly the mob entered the police station and took him out by passing overhead from hand to hand.
I am distressed to learn the police provided the lame excuse for failing to take action by saying that he is Muslim and the agitators will produce him before the sessionâ€™s court. The police once again when confronted by religious extremists remained silent spectators. The District Police Officer (DPO), Mr. Riaz Ahmed Soomro, and Mr. Kanwar Singh Thakar, the deputy superintendent of police (DSP) arrived at the scene but told the family members that they cannot stop the mob as there are chances of Hindu/Muslim riots. The police did not follow the mob when they took the victim and the mob continuously announced that the victim was their new Muslim friend when they took away him to an unknown destination. Since then his whereabouts are unknown and police stopped the investigation as the victim has become Muslim and he would be in better environment. The lawyer and activists of Hindu community have several times contacted the police high officials of the district to recover him but the police told them that they have his signed papers which claim that he has converted to Muslim so they cannot do anything in the case.
Amazingly, in order to look as if they were taking action the police arrested the victim's father, Veero Mal, his two maternal uncles, Mr. Pyaro Mal and Mr. Parro Mal on the complaint of Pathan, the mosque leader, that they had abducted victim and kept him in illegal captivity. This complaint was filed when first time Mohabat Mal ran away from the captivity of mosque leader.
I am gravely concerned that it is a common practice in Sindh province where the ruling party received the majority votes and which claims to be the custodians of the interests of religious minority groups. The constitution and Pakistan Penal Code provide all constitutional and legal protection to religious minority groups. But the government has left the minority groups without any protection and given freedom to fundamentalist groups to use force against the minorities with the connivance of police.
Pakistan has also ratified the International Covenant on the Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and its following are articles are violated through their negligence of the provincial government and police; Article 10 all persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated with humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person. Article17-1. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his honour and reputation 2. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks. Article 18- 1. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching. 2. No one shall be subject to coercion which would impair his freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice.
I hope that you will follow the constitutional and legal rights of the members of religious minority groups and would also follow the ICCPR article which was ratified by the government of Pakistan.
I urge you to take action for the recovery of Mr. Mohabat Mal who was abducted by the Muslim fundamentalist groups and would also provide protection to him and his family. I also urge to prosecute the perpetrators and police officers of the district Mirpurkhar district who covertly supporting the Muslim extremist groups of the district to forcefully converting the religion of members of the Hindu community.
I look forward to your prompt response and action in this case.
Krishna Kumar (PHP)