In DI Khan, Hindus forced to bury their dead

Published: November 29, 2012
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"Hindus in DI Khan have to bury their dear ones because there are no shamshan ghats (cremating places) here," says Sawan Chudhry. DESIGN: SAMRA AAMIR

"Hindus in DI Khan have to bury their dear ones because there are no shamshan ghats (cremating places) here," says Sawan Chudhry. DESIGN: SAMRA AAMIR

DERA ISMAIL KHAN: 

Sawan Chudhry’s father Jawarya Chudhry died in 1965. Forty six years later, he still regrets not being able to cremate his father’s body.

“My father was buried at the Munawar graveyard in Madina Colony. It is unfortunate that his final rites could not be performed according to our faith,” he told The Express Tribune.

Sawan’s family is not alone. “Hindus in DI Khan have to bury their dear ones because there are no shamshan ghats (cremating places) here.  Our relatives in other parts of Pakistan can perform funeral rites according to Hindu custom and we also want to do the same,” said RC Sharma, pundit of Balmeek Mandar.

“In 1985 Pandith Kahdaree Lal was cremated and he is the only Hindu whose remains were incinerated in the district since the inception of Pakistan,” said 67-year-old Sawan, adding that the ceremony had prior approval from the local government and was performed within the premises of the army cantonment area.

The former minority MPA Kishore Kumar, who was elected on a JUI-F ticket, said he had taken up the issue before the Provincial Assembly’s Standing Committee on Minorities. He added that the panel has forwarded its recommendations of making cremation places to the federal government.  “Hindus want ownership of the shamshan ghat in Madina Colony, which belonged to the community in the past.” If we file a civil suit, it will take years to decide and we cannot wait for so long, Kumar further said.

Sawan Chudhry

Data obtained from the Evacuee Trust Property shows that around 7,000 square yards of the Madina Colony were previously a cremation ground for Hindus.

“After partition all property belonging to Hindus was handed over to the Evacuee Trust Property Board.  The community can get ownership of the land, but only if the federal government gives it back to them,” an official of the Evacuee Trust Property told The Express Tribune.

Hindus claims there was another cremation place in Town Hall area, but it was sold for approximately Rs3 million in an auction. Now in place of the shamshan ghat, there is a private clinic called Rehman Medical Clinic. “We protested against the auction, but no one in the government heard us,” said Madhan Lal, 63, a retired supervisor at the District Headquarters Hospital.

An official at the Evacuee Trust Property office said he was reluctant to share official records about the shamshan ghat in Town Hall.

While some people argue that Hindus, most of whom are employed in janitorial positions, cannot afford wood for cremation, the community rejects the reasoning. They say that in a city as populated as DI Khan, there must be some place for them.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 29th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (32)

  • Gaurav
    Nov 29, 2012 - 7:05AM

    This is the way Muslims treat Hindus, when in majority, not even get a proper cremation.

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  • RAW is WAR
    Nov 29, 2012 - 8:34AM

    Absolute bigotry.

    “After partition all property belonging to Hindus was handed over to the Evacuee Trust Property Board.”

    In India people who left for Pakistan had their properties handed over to Muslim WAKF boards.

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  • Liberal Sindhi
    Nov 29, 2012 - 8:37AM

    They should come on media so that this issue can get attention of government. Hindus must have the freedom to perform cremation.

    Although this is not a permanent solution but they CAN use the shamsaan ghaats of Sindh.

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  • sick of this nonsense
    Nov 29, 2012 - 9:40AM

    @Gaurav:
    This is a muslim paper, we are muslim viewers and we condemn this act. Kindly dont judge by the acts of some illiterates.

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  • Mirza
    Nov 29, 2012 - 9:46AM

    I am ashamed, stunned and dumb founded. All I can do is apologize to my brothers who have to go through this humiliation, torture and abuse even after their death. We named it “Islamic Republic of Pakistan”. Which is neither Islamic nor a true Republic nor Pak! For better part of Pakistan’s history we had four army dictators with absolute powers and yet they could not do anything about it and Gen Mush called himself moderate! I wish there were more leaders like Taseer and Bhutti.

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  • Faraz
    Nov 29, 2012 - 9:52AM

    @RAW is WAR:
    Not the case at least in Kashmir. We have an organization called the custodian general and all evacuee property was handed over to them.
    Notwithstanding that, a fair proportion of evacuee property in Jammu has been occupied by squatters who were mostly refugees from the western Punjab

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  • Asif Amin
    Nov 29, 2012 - 10:00AM

    First time this story, feeling sad. Islam gives independence of religion to all non muslim community.

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  • Clear Black Bag
    Nov 29, 2012 - 10:35AM

    If this is happening then this is absolutely and no doubt against the Islam (Quran and Sunnah) and the government must has to take the notice of this incident and the stern and strict action immediately and as soon as possible against this action,because in doubtless Holy Quran in Sura Baqara Allah Almighty said that “there is no compulsion in Islam”,and if the government doesn’t take any action against it then this proves that government is going towards the failure to protect the minorities and minorities’ rights in Pakistan…

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  • Clear Black Bag
    Nov 29, 2012 - 10:37AM

    If this is happening then this is absolutely and no doubt against the Islam (Quran and Sunnah) and the government must has to take the notice of this incident and the stern and strict action immediately and as soon as possible against this action,because in doubtless Holy Quran in Sura Baqara Allah Almighty said that “there is no compulsion in Islam”,and if the government doesn’t take any stern and strict action against the culprits of this unislamic activity then this proves that government is going towards the failure to protect the minorities and minorities’ rights in Pakistan…

    Recommend

  • SK5
    Nov 29, 2012 - 10:43AM

    @Gaurav:
    Read the article properly as in all other or most parts of Pakistan they get cremated according to Hindu traditions. Stop creating hatred with impoverished statements and promote peace whereever you maybe.

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  • ethicalman
    Nov 29, 2012 - 10:44AM

    @ Mirza ‘I am ashamed, stunned and dumb founded’

    nothing new..I feel like.. I felt before about Pakistanis (Muslims) nothing new..

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  • ethicalman
    Nov 29, 2012 - 10:47AM

    @ Asif Amin “Islam gives independence of religion to all non muslim community.”

    It only means that Muslims will never change and keep talking like this..imagine if these kind of things were happening to muslims in India…you would burned our embassies in Pak, bangladesh etc..

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  • Trippy Lucifer
    Nov 29, 2012 - 11:12AM

    Get donations from Hindu community and build it. The government can’t pay it’s bills and salaries, don’t expect much from them.

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  • lovePak
    Nov 29, 2012 - 11:19AM

    @ethicalman
    Azan is not allowed in western countries (at least not in Canada)
    I don’t see Muslims burning anything for it. Asif Amin is right, you’re just too anti-Islam to believe it.

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  • Pakistani
    Nov 29, 2012 - 11:21AM

    Hindu burn the dead bodies of their relatives in an open place in our village it don’t need any special place they can burn it anywhere in open ground.Recommend

  • Watan Jar
    Nov 29, 2012 - 11:42AM

    it is unbelievable, but the detail story shows that it is true, i think the federal government should do something immediately and provide the Hindus with a Cremation Place in D.I.Khan.

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  • Babar
    Nov 29, 2012 - 11:59AM

    Dear All,

    Islam gives rights for all minorities accordingly, i think after vefiication of the whole scenario with local government (Or if Federal Government Involved) we must provide a permanent solution for this issue.

    Regards

    Recommend

  • Tony Singh
    Nov 29, 2012 - 12:49PM

    @sick of this nonsense:
    This is a muslim paper, we are muslim viewers and we condemn this act. Kindly dont judge by the acts of some illiterates.”
    Seems an English newspaper to me. BTW since when did newspapers belong to a religion?

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  • Waziristani
    Nov 29, 2012 - 12:55PM

    @Liberal Sindhi:
    If they appear on media; simply they will be identified and targeted.

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  • Nitish
    Nov 29, 2012 - 1:03PM

    @Gaurav: I m afraid about my future generation.In india muslims r growing very fast.

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  • haider shaikh
    Nov 29, 2012 - 1:13PM

    we muslims of india proud to be an indian. India is a secular country. we r much more safe than ne part of the world. some dirty minded people wants to divide our country. After partition the minority of india population is growing & in pakistan the population of minorities r sinking. We have a heartly condolence for the hindu citizens of pakistan, come to INDIA..we will welcome u with gr8 heart………..

    Recommend

  • zehra
    Nov 29, 2012 - 1:23PM

    so if indai decides that all muslims living in india should be burnt will we be ok? barbaric!! let them do what they want !!

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  • secular pakistani
    Nov 29, 2012 - 1:28PM

    pure BS

    had lived in madina colony for some time
    still remember in my school days behind the Dera public school main ground Hindus used to burn there dead ones there and complete there customs

    and this is not more than a decade back story

    i Am ready to challenge the writer of this article
    will bring the proof on as i Am visiting Dik next weekRecommend

  • Ammar
    Nov 29, 2012 - 1:34PM

    This is really sad but primarily, not an issue of how Muslims in Pakistan treat Hindus, rather a governance issue; how People responsible at different levels have not been able to do a huge list of necessary things for society including this important one. I feel for those affected in DI Khan.

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  • Super Star
    Nov 29, 2012 - 1:57PM

    So called tolerance of Islam and its followers

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  • Introspection
    Nov 29, 2012 - 2:13PM

    @Clear Black Bag:
    In future, kindly quote the complete verse of the Qur’an and not just a part of it, so that they may be rightly, and truly guided:

    2.256 There is no compulsion in religion. The right direction is henceforth distinct from error. And he who rejects false deities and believes in Allah has grasped a firm handle-hold which will never break. Allah is Hearer, Knower.

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  • Parvez
    Nov 29, 2012 - 2:31PM

    Its a shame, I apologize to my fellow country men of Hindu faith. I hope the secula minded ANP/PPP coalition will do something about it.

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  • Raju Thacker
    Nov 29, 2012 - 2:34PM

    Nowadays, christians in western countries have started burning dead bodies because of paucity of land. This is going to happen everywhere in future.

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  • lovePak
    Nov 29, 2012 - 4:59PM

    Loved the paradox here:

    Nitish: “I m afraid about my future generation.In india muslims r growing very fast.”

    And then right below it

    haider shaikh: “we muslims of india proud to be an indian. India is a secular country. we r much more safe than ne part of the world. some dirty minded people wants to divide our country.”

    Good luck haider shaikh! Nitish answered you before you commented well enough. Also says something about tolerance doesn’t it?

    Recommend

  • JOHN
    Nov 29, 2012 - 7:17PM

    They came for the Communists, and I didn’t object — For I wasn’t a Communist;
    They came for the Socialists, and I didn’t object — For I wasn’t a Socialist;
    They came for the labour leaders, and I didn’t object — For I wasn’t a labour leader;
    They came for the Jews, and I didn’t object — For I wasn’t a Jew;
    Then they came for me – And there was no one left to object.

    Recommend

  • Zafar Iqbal
    Dec 1, 2012 - 11:59AM

    Every religion must be respected, every human having no religion is part of mankind. We should not force the believers to act as we like, religious freedom can reduce a lot of threat and citizens of every country must respect law and constitutions.

    Recommend

  • goose
    Dec 16, 2012 - 11:28PM

    @Pakistani:
    They can cremate bodies anywhere? Maybe in a village in a country like Pakistan where there is no cremation ground provided (for fear of ‘giving’ away anything to Hindus) – I’m an Indian Hindu and nowhere in India do people cremate their dead ‘anywhere in the open ground’ – there are specific cremation grounds used for that and only there do cremations take place. Please educate yourself about Hindu rituals before forming an uninformed opinion.

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