Several Hindus kidnapped for ransom in Pakistan (Second Lead)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

ISLAMABAD - Santosh Kumar Bugti, a minority leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-N, has said that several members of the Hindu community have been abducted for ransom in the country as he sought early recovery of an abducted leading Hindu spiritual leader.

Addressing a press conference in Quetta, Bugti appealed to all tribal leaders and elders to play their role in recovering Lakki Chand Garji, the kidnapped Hindu spiritual leader of Balochistan.

Eightytwo-year-old Lakki Chand Garji, who is the `maharaja’ of the Kali Mata Mandir in Kalat town in Balochistan province, is considered to be one of Pakistan’s most revered Hindu spiritual leaders. He was kidnapped by a gang of armed men Dec 21.

The daily Dawn reported Thursday that leaders of the Hindu community, including Dewan Chand, Anil Kumar and Bhajan Lal, attended the press conference.

Criticising the provincial government, Bugti said it had failed to protect the life and property of the people as kidnapping for ransom has become common.

He said that several members of the Hindu community have been kidnapped for ransom, and none of them has been recovered by police.

“The families of kidnapped people paid huge ransom to get their relatives freed,” Bugti was quoted as saying.

He said that shops and homes of the Hindu community have been robbed. They are facing kidnapping for ransom for a long time and they now feel insecure in their own province.

“No one has contacted (Garji’s) family and other people of the Hindu community so far,” said Bugti.

Lakki Chand Garji has been the ‘maharaja’ at the Kali Mata Mandir for the past 60 years and he has command over many languages, including Balochi, Hindi, Sindhi, Persian and Brahavi.

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