Sewage inundates Hindu minority’s graveyard in Larkana

Harijan community suffering at the hands of poor administration, cannot bury their dead

Our Correspondent July 28, 2016
Harijan community suffering at the hands of poor administration, cannot bury their dead. PHOTO: FILE

SUKKUR: Inundation of sewage water in a graveyard in Larkana is preventing the Hindu Harijan community from burying their dead.

Sometime ago, the Harijan community of Larkana was given a piece of land besides Sangi graveyard on Dodai Road to bury their dead, said Harijan community’s Larkana president Jag Jevan Ram. The Larkana district administration even built a boundary wall along the Harijan graveyard and the main gate to make sure that the graves in Sangi graveyard do not encroach on this land, he said.

Despite offering the land, the municipal authorities started releasing drainage water into the graveyard, making it impossible for the community members to bury their dead, he claimed. “Yesterday [Wednesday], one of our community members died and we had to stage a sit-in at Jinnah Chowk along with the body to demand the authorities drain out the sewage water from the graveyard,” he said.

Ram explained that, unlike other Hindu communities, the Harijans prefer burying their dead. “Sometimes we cremate our dead, release the body into the river or leave it in a dense forest,” he said, adding that the community is deprived of its right to bury the dead due to the encroachment and poor condition.

“We are being forced to cremate the dead and that costs anywhere between Rs10,000 and Rs15,000,” Ram pointed out. He said they have complained to provincial minister Nisar Ahmed Khuhro to help them out but have yet to receive any response. He demanded the authorities drain out sewage so they can bury the dead.

Larkana deputy commissioner Javed Jagirani told The Express Tribune that he has yet to receive any complaints from the community. “We will initiate an inquiry into the matter and will try to resolve their grievances by helping them at every possible level,” he said.

For his part, Hindu Panchayat Larkana president Dr Dharam Pal Pohani said that he has yet to receive any direct complaints from the Harijan community. “After Wednesday’s protest, I tried contacting their Mukhi [head] and other elders but they were not available,” he said.

Meanwhile, social worker and advocate Kalpana Devi, who used to be the president of Hindu Panchayat Larkana, confirmed that the community complained to her. “No doubt a place for a graveyard has been provided to them but when they try to bury their dead, some influential persons stop them from doing so,” she claimed. “I could only help them after they provide me with all the relevant documents.”

Published in The Express Tribune, July 29th, 2016.


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