Hindu community’s business remains shut in Pakistan’s restive town Ghotki


By Nasir Aijaz
AsiaN Correspondent

Islamabad: Although the situation in Ghotki town of Sindh province remained relatively calm on Monday following two days of violence, fear from mob attacks gripped the Hindu business community who kept their shops shut in main bazaar and other localities.

The Muslim religious extremists had ransacked three temples, a school, shops and houses of the Hindu community on Saturday and Sunday after a 14-year student of Sindh Public School accused a Hindu teacher running it of blasphemy. The boy’s father Abdul Razak Rajput lodged a case against the teacher on the allegations.

Meanwhile, the police registered three cases against rioters who had taken to the streets to protest the alleged incident of blasphemy.

Additional Inspector General (AIG) Jamil Ahmed said on Monday all cases have been filed with the state as the complainant.

One case was lodged under Sections 295 (injuring or defiling place of worship, with intent to insult the religion of any class), 147 (punishment for rioting) and 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).

The official said that Section 295 was included because the protesters had vandalized a Hindu temple.

Police have nominated 45 people in the case, out of which 22 are named while 23 are unidentified.

Another case was lodged against 150 people — 27 named and 123 unidentified persons — for blocking roads.

A third FIR pertaining to rioting and theft was filed against 23 people, including 11 unidentified persons, over reports that protesters had stolen goods from multiple shops in main Bazaar.

Police have asked the school administration to file a separate complaint against people who damaged the building and infrastructure, so that a fourth case can be registered.

If the administration of the school is reluctant to act as complainant, it should inform the police so the case can be lodged on behalf of the state, the management was told.

The teacher of the school who was accused of the blasphemy is in police custody. AIG said that he will be taken to court after the law and order situation has been assessed.

Several civil society members and politicians visited the temples on Monday and called for a judicial inquiry into the matter.


Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » appearance » Widgets » and move a widget into Advertise Widget Zone