KARACHI: A large number of Hindus from various districts of Sindh gathered to protest in front of Karachi Press Club on Saturday against the killings of the Hindu traders in Umerkot and gave the government an ultimatum of one hour to negotiate with them.
They threatened to march towards Chief Minister House and continue their sit-in in front of the club for at least two days once the ultimatum goes in vain.
The enraged people, led by parliamentarians such as Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Lal Malhi, Pakistan Muslim League — Nawaz’s Ramesh Kumar, Pakistan Muslim League — Functional’s Nand Kumar and representatives of the Hindu Council, demanded of the government to take action against those involved in the killing of the two brothers, Heera Lal Malhi and Ashok Kumar Malhi.
“The local influential people fully support the criminals,” said Lal Malhi. “Instead of taking action [against the perpetrators], police and district administration are giving favours to those who have been nominated in the FIR.” During the protest, the men, women and children were holding placards inscribed with slogans, such as ‘Arrest the killers’, ‘Give us protection’ and ‘Stop harassing minorities’. In their emotionally charged speeches, the leaders of Hindu community demanded that police officers be appointed with their consultation in their dominated areas and a Citizens-Police Liaison Committee be established in Umerkot.
“Our people are being killed and kidnapped, and women are being forcibly converted,” said Ramesh Kumar. “No one from the provincial government is willing to pay heed,” he said, adding that they had no other option but to come [out] on the streets.
“We are afraid of going to our temples and running our businesses,” said Nand Kumar. “Despite the tall claims, no one is there to help us.”
Published in The Express Tribune, September 21st, 2014.