Hindu Temple compound residents continue protest over ‘harassment’

Protesters demonstrate over alleged harassment by political activists.HYDERABAD: Members of the Hindu community staging protest rallies and demonstrations for more than a week over alleged harassment by political activists took out another rally on Friday for the protection of their lives and property of the Kali Mata temple in Latifabad.

The rally was taken out from SP Chowk and after marching on various streets and roads, the participants converged on the local press club where they staged a demonstration and a sit-in.

A number of activists belonging to various nationalist parties also joined in the protest.

Residents of a huge compound within the Kali Mata Shiva Mandli temple claimed that a group of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) activists along with the ‘land mafia’ were bent upon acquiring a piece of temple land measuring 20,000 square yards for commercial purposes.

They said that the temple compound had a settlement of several thousand Hindu families living there for decades.

They alleged that PPP activists and their associates had been firing into the air to harass the poor Hindu residents of the compound almost daily.

A grocery shop opposite the gate of the temple had been made the centre of their activities, they added.

They alleged that the activists and builders had been constantly harassing them and issuing death threats with the aim of forcing them out of the settlement to grab the piece of land, meant for the establishment of a dispensary.

The protesters raised slogans against those involved in the alleged harassment and urged the PPP central leadership to rein in its errant activists.

Pakistan Hindu Council (PHC) adviser Dr Dilip Kumar Daultani, Awami Jamhoori Party (AJP) activist Diwan Aromal, Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM) leader Ghaffar Chandio, Sindh Taraqqi-pasand Party (STP) activists Dr Anwar Hajano and Dar Hassan Leghari, Kali Mata Shiva Mandli chairman Kirshan Kumar and general secretary Dr Amarshi Thakur spoke to the protesters.

They said the affected people, belonging to the Meghwar caste, approached the police several times but the latter were reluctant to take action because of the activists’ political clout.

STP slams PPA

Sindh Taraqqi-pasand Party (STP) on Friday condemned the passage of the Protection of Pakistan Act and said that it was against the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In a statement, STP chairman Dr Qadir Magsi said that the new law was in direct conflict with the constitution, which ensured civil liberties.

He said that usually dictators introduced such laws to perpetuate their rule. He slammed the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) for “facilitating the passage of the bill in line with its reconciliation policy”.

He said that the powers given to a grade-15 officer for shooting at anyone on mere suspicion would encourage injustices.

He said such powers were very likely to be used against oppressed nations. He said the law had been imposed on Sindh and Balochistan where cases of enforced disappearances were reported charred bodies of such victims were being found.

Pensioners protest

A demonstration was held outside the local press club on Friday against alleged corruption in the Employees Old Age Benefit Institution (EOBI).

Speaking to protesters, leaders of the Pension Claimants Action Committee, Hyderabad, Azhar Mohammad, Mohammad Shafi and others alleged that some agents under the patronage of the EOBI regional head were at work to get pension cases disposed of while the genuine cases without the agents’ help were not being touched.

They alleged said that entry of workers’ leaders in the regional office had been banned.

The protesters demanded removal of the EOBI regional chief for patronising the unauthorised agents.

Source: Dawn