Friday, November 26, 2010

Pakistan Hindu Post: Persecution of Hindus in Pakistan and Pakistan Pilgrims to India

Hounded’ Hindus take shelter in Karachi cattle pen after drinking water from mosque, Pakistan


Karachi : In an incident which showcases the brutal hatred with which Hindus are seen in Pakistan, at least 60 members of the minority community, including women and children, were forced to abandon their house in Karachi’s Memon Goth area just because a Hindu boy drank water from a cooler outside a mosque.

Local tribesman, who hold a good clout in the area, thrashed several Hindus forcing them to run away and take shelter in a near by cattle pen, The News reports.

“All hell broke loose when my son, Dinesh, who looked after chickens in a farm, drank water from a cooler outside a mosque. Upon seeing him do that, the people of the area started beating him up,” said Meerumal, a resident of the area.

“Later, around 150 tribesmen attacked us, injuring seven of our people, who were taken to the Jinnah Hospital,” he added.
One of the injured, Heera, said that another 400 families of the area were also being threatened to leave their households and settle elsewhere.

“Our people are even scared of going out of their houses. We are also putting up with living in the filthy pen because we cannot go home for fear of being killed,” Heera said.

Police officials are aware about the incident, but they have failed to take any steps to stop the atrocities being meted out to theminority community.

“A trivial incident led to riots between the people of the area. Since both the communities happened to be illiterate, the matter just flared up,” said Memon Goth Station House Officer (SHO).

Meanwhile, Minority Affairs Minister Dr Mohan Lal has assured Hindus of full government protection.

“I have directed the DPO and the SHO to ensure that these people go back to their houses safely,” Lal said.
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Rajasthan : India is known for her hospitality, but we are sorry to say that our experience with the officials here is nothing short of a nightmare,” says Satya Ramprakash, a member of a 65-member Hindu pilgrim group that has come from Pakistan.

The group wanted to visit various places of religious importance to the Hindus, but so harried it is that many of them are planning to dump the tour midway and return to Pakistan.

The 65-member group left Sindh in Pakistan on June 18 for India on a month-long pilgrimage. They arrived in Jodhpur the very next day and their trauma began then and there. Rules are such that besides registering with the local police, they have to have a guarantor in each city they visit. Their local guarantor at Jodhpur, Acharya Gopal, washed off his hands of their onward journey, once they reached there.
“Despite valid visa, we had to go to the court to file an affidavit, stating that we are from Pakistan and have come to India on a pilgrimage. We sought residential permit so that we could stay at some places during our month-long tour. It took us as many as eight days to complete the formality,” said Nagji Thakor, a person of Gujarati origin who lives at Virpur village in Sindh province.

“Since we could not check into any hotel, we had to spend our days at courts and offices and nights at railway station,” he added. That the group had many elderly persons and women did not move the officials.
However, they expressed their gratitude to local people. “People are friendly. They have helped us and guided us. It is the set of rules that has balked us. If you have such rules what is the fun in running Samjhauta Express?” said Sardara Prajapati.
He pointed out that many groups have travelled to India in the past, but they did not face such problems.

The group arrived in Ahmedabad on Sunday and ran into the “Bharat bandh” on Monday. After wasting a day, they went to the police commissioner’s office in Shahibaug on Tuesday morning. It took the entire day for them to register themselves.

“The recent change in rules and procedure has sapped our spirit and energy. Registration that should take a few hours is taking days and instead of praying at shrines we are spending time in courts and offices,” Goswami Bhairopriya Maharaj who is from Dingan village in Sindh.

“Many are contemplating going back to Pakistan. I am not sure how many of us will continue with the tour,” he added.
The group’s next stop is Radhanpur in north Gujarat. Their itinerary included visiting 150 small and big religious places across India during the 28-day tour. Some of the important places included Jodhpur, Barmer, Ahmedabad, Radhanpur, Mathura and Hardwar. They entered India in Samjhauta Express via Attari in Punjab.

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