Local Muslims reportedly stopped Hindus from burying a woman’s body in a graveyard in Thull town of Jacobabad district, though both the communities have shared the cemetery for years, according to a report in the local media.
The incident took place on Wednesday when the Hindu Oodh community members came to the town’s main cemetery to bury the remains of Nazi, wife of Kevo Mal.
According to a Thull-based journalist Zahid Gul Mastoi, the minority community were harassed and asked to take back the body. “The body was lying in the open ground for about three hours,” he said.
The Oodh community staged a protest outside the graveyard and demanded the Muslim residents to allow them to bury the body.
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“Hindu men and women were requesting Muslims but no one was listening to them,” Mastoi said. He added that police reached the spot after a few hours and dispersed Muslim residents and helped Hindus to bury the body.
“It was first such incident in Thull,” he said.
The area residents said that the graveyard has been used by both communities for years.
According to Hindu activist Mukesh Meghwar, these issues were being reported for the last 10 years.
“Hindus, especially those from the lower castes, do not have separate graveyards anywhere in Sindh,” he said.
“We have a small portion in almost every small and major town of the province,” he added.
Meghwar reminded that grave of Bhoro Bheel was dug out in Badin in 2013.
“That was the first such kind of incident,” he said, adding that fear prevails among Hindus when such incidents are reported.
“Where should they bury their bodies without a graveyard,” he questioned.
DISCRIMINATORY ATTITUDE TOWARDS HINDUS
In September, a Hindu family was allegedly tortured by local Muslims for drinking water from a local mosque in Rahim Yar Khan district.
According to details, Aalim Ram Bheel and his family members were harvesting cotton in the fields in Kahor Khan village Chak No. 106/P on Sept 11, when he went to drink water from a tap installed in a nearby mosque.
“When I was filling the bucket with water, Mian Ghaffar, a local villager, reached the spot and started insulting me, saying I had contaminated the water. When I questioned his behaviour, he started cursing and abusing me and later slapped and punched me,” Bheel stated in the FIR [First Information Report] No. 204/21 registered with the Airport Police Station, Rahim Yar Khan.
Bheel stated that when his family members and 15 other Hindu women who were working in the fields came to his rescue, some other Muslim men, namely Mian Raziq, Mian Jabbar and Mian Nisar also arrived there and started beating them all.
“The assailants stopped when some other villagers intervened in the matter,” he stated.
Earlier on Aug 4, hundreds of Muslims vandalised a Hindu temple in Bhong town in Sadiqabad district and blocked the Sukkur-Multan Motorway (M-5) for hours after a nine-year old Hindu boy, who allegedly urinated in a local seminary and was booked for alleged blasphemy, was granted bail by a local court.
Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmed took suo moto notice of the temple’s desecration and ordered the authorities concerned to arrest the culprits and also charge them for the expenses that would be incurred in rebuilding the temple. Prime Minister Imran Khan had also taken notice of the incident and ordered action against those responsible for the unrest and vandalism of the Hindu temple.
On Aug 30, a group of miscreants vandalised a temporary Hindu temple built to celebrate the festival of Janmashtami, the birthday of Krishna, a Hindu deity, in Khipro in the Sanghar district of Sindh province. The idol of Krishna was also broken.