Khuzdar, Balochistan: Hindu Community fears for their life as Hindu traders are murdered one after the other
They await justice.
A Hindu trader from District Khuzdar’s Wadh Tehsil (Balochistan) was murdered in mysterious circumstances. The Hindu community residing in Balochistan hadn’t completely recovered from the murder of one of their own when they started receiving threatening letters. The letters asked them to impose a complete ban on the entry of women into their shops.
Hameeda Noor, a women’s rights activist based in Balochistan said:
The situation spells trouble for basic human rights as well as poses a danger to security. These pamphlets are a clear violation of the basic human rights of both women and minority communities of the area. I think this is a very serious and dangerous development, and such declarations are contrary to our Baloch culture and our religious teachings.
Voice.pk recently uncovered the series of Disturbing Incidents occurring in Balochistan
People belonging to the Hindu community have lived in Balochistan for centuries. Before the deteriorating situation in Balochistan in 2002, they were living a peaceful life in most areas but incidents of kidnapping for ransom started in 2002. Other similar events have now become a regular occurrence in the region, especially after 2008. Most of these incidents have taken place in Quetta, Kalat, and Naseerabad areas.
Ashok Kumar a young Hindu businessman was shot and killed inside his shop a while ago by unidentified assailants. According to police sources, the businessman had refused to pay extortion money to a local gang because of which he was attacked inside his shop and shot multiple times. The injured man was shifted to hospital immediately after the incident but he succumbed to his wounds.
Following the tragic incident, traders from all religious communities held protest rallies demanding justice for the slain businessman. The protestors blocked the main Karachi-Quetta national highway and demanded swift justice for Ashok.
Unfortunately, this was not the first time a Hindu businessman was shot in Khuzdar. A few months before Ashok’s murder, a Hindu businessman, Nanak Ram, was killed in the Wadh area (also) for not paying extortion money to local gangs.
In a similar incident, another Hindu businessman from the Hub area of Balochistan was shot and killed along with his son.
Earlier, a Hindu businessman along with his son was killed in the Hub area of Balochistan while another was killed in Chaman in what seems to be a series of targeted killings of Hindus in the province.
Khuzdar Community calls for Help
Khuzdar is home to more than 6,000 members of the Hindu community, almost 90 percent of whom are involved in the trading business. The continuation of such attacks and the act of impunity with which they are carried out has made the local Hindu businessmen and the entire Hindu community feel unsafe.
An afraid local (anonymous) Hindu trader asks:
What did we do? Why are we being killed? I want to request the state and the government to ensure the safety of our community members.
Kamal Kumar, a human rights activist and representative of the Hindu community, said:
Over 90 percent of the Baloch Hindu community is involved in the trading business. And such incidents are not only causing loss of life they are also destroying the business environment of the area. Our community now feels very insecure and many members are resorting to migration after these events.
Government takes Action?
A high-level meeting over the recent murder of the Hindu businessman was held in Khuzdar under the chairmanship of Provincial Home Minister Mir Ziaullah Langu and Chief Secretary Balochistan. The Balochistan Home Minister directed law enforcement agencies to step up patrolling and immediately arrest those involved in the incident.
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