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Tensions rise after Hindu body is desecrated

Protests after Hindu is buried then exhumed from Muslim graveyard

Tensions rise after Hindu body is desecrated

Hindus protest over the removal of the body reporter, Karachi

October 9, 2013

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Hundreds of Hindus from the ethnic Bheel community took to the streets in southern Pakistan’s Badin district on Tuesday after a Muslim mob dug up the grave of a Hindu man and removed his body.

The incident took place in Badin’s Pangrio town in Sindh province.

Hours after the burial of Bhuro Bheel, 30, who died in a road accident on Saturday, a group of local Muslims asked the victim’s heirs to remove his body, saying no Hindu could be buried at a Muslim graveyard under Islamic sharia law.

On Sunday, a 2,000-strong mob dug up the grave, took out the body and threw it off the graveyard premises.

Police say they have launched a probe and started street patrols to avoid any clashes between the two communities. No arrests have been made, according to Farooq Nizamani, a senior officer at Pangrio police station.

“Protests were staged in Pangrio and other towns in the district yesterday, but the situation is under control,” he said.

Chanting slogans at police and local administration officials, demonstrators demanded the immediate arrest of the culprits.

“It is a shared cemetery. My uncles, grandparents and ancestors all are buried here,” Moti Bheel, brother of Bhuro Bheel, said. “I buried my brother after a Muslim landlord, Mir Haji Maqsood, gave some of his land to the Bheels for the burial of their dead.”

Veerji Kohli, a convener of the Progressive Hindu Alliance Pakistan group, strongly condemned the desecration and called for the arrest of those involved in the crime.

“We have been living on this land for centuries and now we are being deprived of our right to be buried here,” he said.

Muslims and Hindus have lived side by side peacefully for centuries in Sindh, but discontentment among Hindus is on the rise due to increasing incidents of kidnaping of Hindu girls and their forced conversion. Thousands of Hindus have migrated to neighboring India over the past five years.

According to the Pakistan Hindu Council, over seven million Hindus live in Pakistan, approximately 94 per cent of them in Sindh province. 

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