Disquiet among Pakistani Hindus over kidnapped leader

Friday, February 25, 2011

ISLAMABAD - There is disquiet in the Hindu community over the as-yet unsolved abduction of their religious leader, a senior Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader in Quetta has been told.

Sardar Sanaullah Zehri, provincial convener of the PML-N, said all efforts will be made to free Lakki Chand Garji from the captivity of his abductors.

Lakki Chand Garji, 82, who is the ‘maharaja’ of the Kali Mata Mandir in Kalat town in Balochistan province and considered to be one of Pakistan’s most revered Hindu spiritual leaders, was kidnapped by a gang of armed men Dec 21 last year. He is yet to be traced and rescued.

A delegation headed by Santosh Kumar Bugti met Zehri and apprised him of disquiet prevailing in the community over their religious leader not yet being traced or freed, the Dawn reported Friday.

Zehri called Garji’s abduction a conspiracy to defame the Baloch people and assured the delegation that tribal influence would be used in this regard.

Abduction for ransom and killing of people belonging to Pakistan’s minority communities, including Hindus, has caused insecurity among them, Balochistan Minister for Minorities Affairs Basant Lal Gulshan said earlier this month.

Traders from the Hindu community have been targets of kidnapping gangs.

Rajesh Kumar, a trader, was going to work when armed men in a car intercepted him and tried to kidnap him in Feb 6. When he resisted, he was shot dead. As many as three Hindu traders have been killed so far during attempted kidnappings in and around Quetta during the past three years.

Gulshan said that people belonging to the minority communities were being compelled to migrate to safer places.

Ram Singh Sodho, who was elected to the Sindh assembly in 2008 on a Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) reserved seat for minorities, fled to India and sent in his resignation to assembly Speaker Nisar Ahmad Khoro.

Filed under: Accidents and Disasters

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