Pakistan sleuths clueless about Hindu leader’s abduction

Monday, January 17, 2011

ISLAMABAD - Investigators probing the abduction of a leading Hindu spiritual leader of Pakistan are clueless about his whereabouts, a media report said Monday, adding that there had been 22 kidnapping incidents in recent weeks on the same highway from where the octogenarian was spirited away.

Lakki Chand Garji, 82, 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 last year.

Express Tribune reported Monday that investigators are clueless on the high-profile kidnapping.

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.

In recent weeks, there have been more than 22 incidents of kidnapping for ransom and hold-ups by gangsters on the Kalat-Surab section and Kalat-Mongechar section of the highway that links Quetta and Karachi, the media report said.

Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani visited Kalat last week and vowed that the Hindu spiritual leader would be recovered soon, but there hasn’t been any headway.

Santosh Kumar Bugti, a minority leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-N, said Dec 29 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.

Criticising the provincial government, Bugti said that 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 had said in Quetta.

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.

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