Several Thar towns shut over theft in Hindu shrine


MITHI: A shutdown was observed in several towns including Mithi, Diplo, Islamkot, Naokot and Chelhar on Sunday following theft of a statue and some other sacred objects from a Hindu shrine in the morning near Mithi.

Large groups of Hindus along with members of civil society and rights activists took to the streets of Mithi and held demonstration at Kashmir Chowk to protest the theft and recent attacks on temples in Larkana and Hyderabad. The protesters blocked Mithi-Naokot Road with burning tyres to register their protest and raised slogans for foolproof measures to protect religious places and the minority communities in Sindh.

They also demanded a probe into the theft at the shrine of Hindu saint Paar Birham, aka Paru Faqir/Dado) near Verhijhap village situated on the outskirts of Mithi.

Diplo police registered a case, arrested four suspects and recovered the stolen articles in the evening.

Initial investigations by villagers suggested that the idol and sacred objects placed in the shrine for worship were taken away by a man, Wasayo Paharo, who is stated to be an insane person.

However, a labourer engaged for renovation at the shrine claimed that he saw Paharo and three other persons visiting the shrine and took them as devotees. The labourer told villagers they had arrived at the shrine in a car. While the driver stayed in the car, two other persons stood guard at the gate of the shrine and Wasayo Paharo went inside and grabbed the statue and some other sacred objects before leaving the shrine, he stated, adding that Paharo and his companions drove away with the ‘stolen’ shrine properties.

Some neighbours of Paharo, when contacted, told Dawn that he was an insane person but might have been used by conspirators to provoke communal feelings in Thar.

Paharo and the other three suspects, residents of Diplo whose name were not disclosed immediately, were arrested.

The local Hindu community has given a strike call across Tharparkar for Monday.

Thousands of devotees from different parts of Sindh as well as India visit the Paar Birham shrine to take part in a religious festival held in the village as an annual feature.

HYDERABAD: The Hindu community in Hyderabad and several nationalist parties organised protest demonstration outside the local press club on Sunday against the March 28 attack on a temple in Hyderabad.

They raised slogans against the attackers and urged the government to ensure security of religious places as well as the minority communities in Sindh.

Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz held a demonstration here on Sunday to express solidarity with the Hindu and other minority communities in Sindh. It demanded safety and security of all religious places and arrest of all elements bent upon destroying communal harmony in the province.

Sindh Taraqqi-pasand Party on Sunday issued a statement condemning theft of objects of worship from a shrine near Mithi. It said if the government was unable to protect religious minorities, it must step down. Qaumi Awami Tehreek president Ayaz Latif Palijo in a statement said attacks on temples one after the other were a complete failure of the Sindh government. He said the government was under obligation to protect its citizens and holy places of all religions.

Meanwhile, Sindh Minister for Minorities Affairs Giyan Chand Essrani has said that the recent attacks on temples were a conspiracy to trigger communal riots and weaken the provincial government.

During his visit to the Kali Mata temple on Sunday evening, he told journalists that many suspects involved in the Hyderabad temple attack had been arrested and a report in this regard would be submitted to him on Monday.

He announced a water filter plant for the Hanuman and Kali Mata temples, and Rs200,000 donation for the repair and renovation of the damaged portions of the holy places.

BADIN: Hindus took out a big rally from a temple in Tando Bago and marched up to the local press club on Sunday to register their protest over attacks on temples and acts of provocation against their community in different parts of Sindh in an organised manner.

Shamun Mal Lohana, Raja Lohana, Arun Kumar and others who led the rally told the media that the Hindu community was being harassed by extremists, who had now started attacking their places of worship.

The Hindu Punchayat Committee Badin chapter leaders Advocate Jeewat Kumar and Hemoon Mal in a press statement condemned attacks on Larkana and Hyderabad temples and theft in a Mithi village shrine.

They said the community would hold rallies and demonstrations across Badin district on Monday against the incidents.

MIRPURKHAS: Hindus led by the Bheel Intellectual Forum held a demonstration outside the local press club on Sunday against attacks on temples in Sindh.

Advocate Bhagchand of the forum told the media that the attacks were aimed at pitting Hindus and Muslims against each other and destabilise the country.

He called for arrest of the culprits and their mentors and exposing the forces behind them.

Source: Dawn