India detains dozens of Pakistani Hindu pilgrims

Published: March 27, 2016
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PHOTO: AFP

PHOTO: AFP

THARPARKAR: 

A group of 35 Hindu pilgrims from southern Sindh have been detained in the Indian state of Rajasthan over ‘incomplete travel documents’.

The group left for a 20-day yatra (pilgrimage) to India on March 18 through the Thar Express via the Munabao rail link, family of one of the arrested individuals told The Express Tribune.

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“I last contacted my family around 7pm on March 25 and they were all well and moving around freely,” said Laxman Goswami, a dispenser at a health facility near Mithi, Tharparkar.

He came to know about the arrest of the pilgrims Saturday morning through local reporters.

The Indian media said the Rajasthan police arrested the Pakistani Hindus for allegedly violating their visa restrictions. The pilgrims had visas for Mathura and Haridwar cities but they instead visited Ramdevra.

Ramdevra police said the higher authorities have been informed about the arrests and action would be taken as per the instructions.

Laxman’s wife Saroopi, 12-year-old daughter Savita, seven-year-old son Sahil, five-year-old daughter Shardha and brother-in-law Vinod Goswami are among those detained in India.

He said he tried to call his family on their phone numbers but all of them were switched off.

Two other men, Madan Goswami and Dilip Meghwadh, from Tharparkar’s Islamkot taluka are also among the detained yatris. The identities of other travellers, who are reportedly from Umerkot, Mirpurkhas, Sanghar and Sukkur, could not be determined.

The arrests came a day after Pakistan protested with India after capturing a man suspected of being an Indian spy, sparking a new diplomatic tiff between the two neighbours. Laxman believed it could be a tit-for-tat by the Indian authorities after the arrest of Kalbhushan Yadav from Balochistan.

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“My family and I have been to India three to four times before for visiting various Hindu temples,” he said. “We even went to the places and cities whose visa was not given to us but no one bothered to stop us knowing we are yatris.”

Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi said the officials were obtaining details of the detained Pakistanis, who reportedly wanted to visit the Baba Ramdev Temple in Ramdevra.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 27th, 2016.

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Reader Comments (8)

  • Tyggar
    Mar 27, 2016 - 11:37AM

    India should start arresting Pakistani Businessmen tooRecommend

  • Last Man Alive
    Mar 27, 2016 - 11:39AM

    Whether a serving RAW officer is caught abetting terrorism in Pakistan

    OR

    india detains Pakistani citizens visiting india for their religious

    plans…We never hear

    Nawaz Sharif utter a single word against india.

    For him family and its business comes way before this country he and his

    family have made trillions of. Recommend

  • Mahesh
    Mar 27, 2016 - 11:59AM

    ISI spies arrested in Rajasthan, India.Recommend

  • Bold
    Mar 27, 2016 - 12:38PM

    Shame on IndiaRecommend

  • The liberal Indian
    Mar 27, 2016 - 12:41PM

    India must stop acting like a spoiled child against fellow Pakistani citizensRecommend

  • Vectra
    Mar 27, 2016 - 1:34PM

    May be this is a message to Pakistan than dont indulge in confrontation with New Delhi which you cannot win as India still retains the iron stick.I think all these innocent civilians including one captures as RAW agent by pakistan are suffering due to Pak Govt silly drama like this recent RAW drama as pakistan is opening all pandora box but can prove nothing only its claims to be rejected by foreign nations later like Iran rejected.Recommend

  • Hari
    Mar 27, 2016 - 3:17PM

    Spies?!!! #terroriststateRecommend

  • jay
    Mar 27, 2016 - 4:02PM

    @Bold:
    Just cuz live in a lawless country don’t means others too.. visa violation is crime in India and will b dealt in accordance of law irrespective of what religion these men belong too. Greater shame is to keep asking for loans from non Muslim imfRecommend

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