February 3rd, 2022
By Ahmed Saeed
Police have yet to register a first information report (FIR) regarding the target killing of a Hindu businessman, Sattan Lal, in Sindh’s Ghotki district despite the passage of three days, citing that the victim’s heirs have yet to approach the police and lodge a case.
Prior to his murder, Lal had been injured in an armed attack some months ago, following which he claimed on video that his assailants were members of the Dahar community.
“I have a two and half acre of land which people belonging to Dehar community want to occupy. I went to visit my land where I was attacked. The assailant told me to leave Pakistan but I made it clear to them that this is my motherland and I will not go anywhere. Sachal, Zubair and his nephew were among those who attacked me”, Lal said in a video recorded after the attack that happened few months ago.
Police claim they have arrested all people identified by Lal in the video, however no suspect has confessed to be involved in the incident yet. Nagesh Kumar, a nephew of the deceased, his uncle was gunned down in front of nearly 800 people, and therefore he will lodge an FIR only after the police arrest the main culprit
“The police have failed to identify the real murderer and they are asking me to lodge a FIR against unknown people. Why should I implicate any incident in the case? How can I do that? My uncle was killed in front of 800 people and police could not find it. Arrest the hitman and then I will lodge a FIR”, Kumar told voicepk.
Speaking on the occasion, Special Assistant to the Chief Minister of Sindh for Human Rights, Veerji Kohli, told Voiecpk.net that the Sindh government has taken notice of the incident and that there have been some arrests.
The past few months have seen a rise in the targeted killings of traders belonging to the Hindu faith in Sindh and Balochistan. Last month, a proprietor was shot dead in Kharipur, Sindh. In the previous year, a trader was murdered in Khuzdar, Balochistan, while others received extortion notes.
According to Member of the National Assembly (MNA) from the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Patron-in-Chief of the Pakistan Hindu Council, Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, at least ten Hindu businessmen have been assassinated in the past two years.
“There are only handful of Hindu people who have a real estate business and those who are involved in this business, they are forced to do a partnership with a Muslim influential otherwise they have to face immense problem. When I filed a case in the apex court, almost over 500 Hindu traders approached me and complained about the harassment they were being faced”, Kumar said.
Kohli also acknowledged a notable increase in the murders of Hindu traders in Sindh, which he believes may be because of a general perception among criminal elements that the Hindu community makes for an easy target.
Members of the Hindu community are gravely concerned over the rise in attacks on traders of their faith, and have appealed to the government to apprehend and punish those responsible for the attacks to ensure such incidents do not occur.