KARACHI: Eighteen years ago, nine of my family members were kidnapped by a local landlord, claimed Mano Bheel, while appealing to the government, judiciary and civil society to help him in rescuing them.
"I am a poor man. I belong to lower caste Hindu community. Please help me," said Bheel while addressing a press conference arranged by Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER) on Tuesday at the Karachi Press Club.
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He said that nine of his family members, including his parents, wife and four children were kidnapped by a powerful landlord, Abdul Rehman Marri, in 1998 from a farm in Jhudo, district Mirpurkhas.
He added that he is unsure if his family members are still alive. "I was informed that three of my family members have died."
The local police have never taken the case seriously, said PILER executive director Karamat Ali. They work as managers of the local landlords, he claimed. "It is injustice with lower caste Hindus."
In 2006, former Chief Justice of Pakistan, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, took suo motu notice of the incident. The police resultantly arrested some suspects. Later, the district and sessions court of Mirpurkhas disposed of the case and released the suspects on the pretext that the applicant did not appear in the court, informed Ali. The apex court took notice of the abduction but, nothing has been done so far, he added.
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Since the kidnapping, Bheel has appealed to the courts and also observed hunger strike, which continued for around 1,287 days. "I am homeless since the last 18 years," said Bheel. "There is no justice for me."
PILER, with the help of lawyer Faisal Siddiqi, has challenged the Mirpurkhas district court's verdict. The case is pending in the Sindh High Court since 2010. The next hearing has been fixed for February 11. We appeal to the Sindh government and judiciary to provide justice to Bheel, said Ali. "His family should immediately be recovered."
Published in The Express Tribune, February 10th, 2016.