KARACHI: Members of the Maheshwari community staged a protest outside the Karachi Press Club on Sunday, demanding that the Sindh government take immediate action to recover sixteen-year-old Vidhya, who went missing on May 20.
The protesters carried banners and shouted slogans, asking the government to trace Vidhya’s kidnappers and put them behind bars.
Vidhya’s family had registered an FIR at the Mauripur police station a day after she went missing, but little progress has been made in the case since. Disappointed by the police’s inaction, Maheshwari community elders and the missing girl’s family members had stepped up efforts for her recovery, approaching South DIG Sharjeel Inam Kharal and Sindh Minorities Affairs Minister Ram Kishori Lal. They held meetings with them but according to Werag Mal Maheshwari, a community member, “no one actually made any serious efforts for Vidhya’s recovery,”
He said that in a recent a development, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has taken notice of the situation and has directed the police to take immediate action to recover Vidhya. He said that a petition has also been filed in the Sindh High Court.
Werag alleges that when informed of the girl going missing, instead of making efforts to find Vidhya, police had harassed her family members.
“Police used to call her parents to the police station where they were forced to sit for hours,” he said, adding that Vidhya’s family was going through a mental trauma and felt unsafe.
He further said, “Our [Maheshwari] community doesn’t feel secure in this environment.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 29th, 2019.