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Effigies burned in anger over girl's rape

Hindus and Christians demand justice reporter, Karachi

December 18, 2012

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Hundreds of Hindus and Christians gathered on Sunday in front of the Karachi Press Club to demand justice for a six-year-old girl who was allegedly raped earlier in the month.

Members of the All Pakistan Christian League and other minority activist groups blocked the road in front of the Press Club and burned effigies of the suspected rapist.

The six-year-old girl was found unconscious in a street in Ghulam Nabi Shah village in Sind province. She was admitted to a local hospital but was later moved to Lyari General Hospital in Karachi to be treated for her injuries.

Naveed Paul, general secretary of the APCL, accused police of corruption and said the girl’s attacker belonged to a powerful family.

“The police have not registered a first information report against the culprit,” he said. 

“Most of the families in such cases are poor and cannot pursue the case.”

Ramesh Kumar, patron of the Pakistan Hindu Council, said his hopes for justice have faded following a visit to the victim’s family.

“This is another shameful occurrence in our democratic society, which is plagued with extortions and kidnappings,” he said.

“The Hindu community is silenced even further. We are being marginalized systematically and are dismayed at the state of affairs.”

Nearly 800 cases of rape against minority girls have been reported in the country since last year, according to data collected by the Pakistan Hindu Seva Welfare Trust. 

The National Parliament last week urged its Standing Committee on Human Rights to review reports of the alleged rape after the issue was raised by the ruling Pakistan People’s Party lawmaker Nawab Yousuf Talpur, according to a report by the Press Trust of India.

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