As the Hindu community reels from profane attacks at their places of worship in Larkana, Badin and Hyderabad, yet another incident in a Tharparkar's ashram has offended them still further.
At Faqir Par Braham's ashram in Deeplo taluka's village Verhijhap, the violators stole a trishul and desecrated parrh (a piece of sacred cloth wrapped around the idol). "Three to four persons entered the ashram and dishonoured the place," alleged
The Hindu community came out on streets in all the towns of Tharparkar district, also staging a sit-in at Mithi's Kashmir chowk. The markets in Deeplo, Islamkot and Chachro towns were shut in protest.
"The Hindu community is being targetted in all parts of Sindh under a conspiracy," said Raja Bhawan of Tharparkar's Hindu panchayat who led the protesters. "We want the government to expose hands behind this."
Tharparkar is known for harmonious coexistence of Hindu and Muslim communities so much so that the latter do not sale meat of cows, which are even rarely sacrificed on Eidul Azha, at the shops.
The new incident comes just two days after a small temple of Hindu deity, Hanuman, was desecrated in Hyderabad, where the police have arrested 12 suspects for interrogation.
The sit-in in Mithi ended after the elected representatives from Pakistan Peoples Party and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf consoled the community and assured them of action against the violators. "The Sindh government has failed to protect minorities despite series of incidents over the years targetting our community," said the PTI's minority MNA Lal Malhi, who sat among the protesters.
The PPP MNA Faqir Sher Muhammad Bilalani told reporters that Tharparkar has never witnessed any communal incident in the past and what transpired in Deeplo was a sacrilegious act of theft.
Later, a delegation of Hindu representatives including Hot Chand, Bhawan, former nazim Ghansham Das, Kuldeep Mal Parwani and others met the PPP MNA Faryal Talpur. "We told her that our community will not accept any more attack. We want security and protection as well as exposing the elements who are behind these attacks," Das told The Express Tribune.
Meanwhile, the Tharparkar SSP Muneer Shaikh says the police have arrested four suspects including Wasayo Parho, Jian Parho, Moula Bux and Abdul Sattar. The stolen trishul was also recovered. Wasayo, according to him, is the prime suspect. An FIR has also been lodged at Deeplo police station on the complaint of Seth Jhaman Das.
Meanwhile, the protest against Friday's attack of Hanuman temple continued in Hyderabad for the third day. The provincial minorities minister Gian Chand, who visited the temple on Sunday, said the successive incidents at the Hindu temples are an attempt to fail the Sindh government.
He told that he has written to the acting IG Sindh to provide security at all the places of worship of the minority communities.
"A third force is trying to incite religious disharmony by carrying out such attacks," said the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz's MNA Krishan Kumar Vakwani, who is also the head of Pakistan Hindu Panchayat. Talking to the media in Hyderabad, Vakwani asked the provincial government to provide security at the temples and churches and also to install CCTV cameras there.
The Sindhi nationalist parties Qaumi Awami Tehreek, Sindh Taraqi Pasand, Sindh United Party, Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz and others have condemned the profanity in Tharparkar.
A shorter version of the article was published in The Express Tribune, March 31st, 2014.