KARACHI: Rights group staged a protest outside the Karachi Press Club on Thursday against a recent incident in Pangrio, Badin, where the body of a young Hindu man was taken out of the grave by some ‘religious extremists.’
According to recent reports in the media, Bhooro, 28, a lower caste Hindu, was buried in Haji Faqir graveyard in Pangrio Badin district, after he died in a traffic accident.
Pangrio’s Haji Faqir graveyard has had a long tradition of burying Hindus belonging to the Bheel community. Bheels are among the few in the Hindu community who don’t cremate their dead.
What followed was a statement from a cleric announcing on a mosque’s loudspeaker that it is “against the teachings Islam” to allow a Hindu to be buried beside a Muslim.
Eventually, a few people, who are said to have links with a political party in the area, dug out the body from the grave and left it across the road. The body remained on the road for about eight hours until the locals took to the streets pushing the area police to take action against the men.
Speaking to Dawn.com, an official from Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (Piler), Shujauddin Qureshi said that “the incident is worrisome for the people of Sindh, where such incidents were never heard of before.” He also added that the incident is based on a “political grievance” against the Bheel community in particular for voting for a rival party in the recently held general elections.
“A local newspaper quoted a grave digger as saying that there are 5-6 graves of lower caste Hindus in the graveyard. Not surprisingly, he backed off after stating that, after some people flared up the issue on that point alone,” he adds.
An FIR was registered, but protestors at the KPC said that the cleric who “encouraged” the men has not been included in it, yet.
The incident which occurred on October 6 created uproar on social networking websites where many people denounced the act.
A rights group activist, Sheerin Aijaz, who was a part of the protest, said that the culprits need to be arrested. “We have to set a precedent. If nothing else, the sitting ministers should at least denounce the incident, even if they have shown time and again that they are complacent when faced with such issues.”