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Selected rights violations against Hindus

June 2016

Location: Ghotki, Sindh
Nature of incident: Physical attack

An 85-year-old man, Gokal Das, was beaten by police officials in his village in Ghotki district for eating and selling food during Ramadan, a month of fasting for Muslims around the world. In Pakistan, there is a prohibition on eating in public during this month, but this refers to closing down restaurants in the daytime and does not apply to non-Muslims. Das - a poor man who was eating food he had received charitably – was beaten by police to the point that his palms bled. This incident resulted in much outrage in both mainstream and social media, and the accused police officials were arrested.

June 2016

Sukkur, Sindh
Nature of incident: Intimidation

A recently widowed Hindu agricultural worker, the sole breadwinner for her four children, was forced to leave her village following extensive harassment and intimidation. When it was time to cultivate the wheat harvest, the landlord reportedly did not pay her and instead told her she needed to pay him 80,000 rupees, an exorbitantly high sum for an agricultural worker. While she was struggling with the debt, her daughters began to be harassed by the landowner’s sons, who told them that the debt would be forgiven if the girls befriended them and converted to Islam. She tried to prevent her daughters from meeting the landlord’s sons, resulting in her being physically beaten in the village one day. Fearing for her life and that of her children, she fled the area. She said the landlord still continues to threaten them.

July 2016

Ghotki district, Sindh
Nature of incident: Blasphemy accusation

A Hindu man, Amar Lal, was accused of blasphemy on claims that he desecrated the Qur’an outside a mosque. Police said Amar suffered from psychological problems, but the accused was still arrested and taken to an undisclosed location. An inquiry committee set up by the Sukkur police later said that it was an earthen lamp placed near the Qur’an that had led to the fire and Amar had been wrongly blamed. Despite this, agitated members of the community blocked the main highway in retaliation, causing major disruptions in traffic. Sensing the unrest, members of the Hindu community also shut down their businesses. Following this day of communal tension, two Hindu men were shot while drinking tea at a stall in Mirpur Mathelo. Seventeen year-old Sateesh Kumar died in this attack, while his friend Avinash was critically injured. Following these events, Hindus in the area have been fearful for their lives, reducing their involvement in public life.

July 2016

Khanpur district, Sindh
Nature of incident: Intimidation

Gulabo Thori, an elderly man, had lived with his family in a village in Khanpur district, Sindh for nearly 40 years, when there was reportedly a growing presence of preachers in the village, who promoted exclusionary attitudes towards minorities living in the area. . Following these visits, the Gulabo family felt increasingly insecure, with village residents treating them with greater hostility, culminating in the desecration of deities kept in their house. The family was eventually forced to move from their home and have since been looking for another place to settle.

July 2017

Kandkhot, Sindh
Nature of incident: Intimidation

A Hindu family in Kandkhot, Sindh was victimized by a Muslim landlord who routinely threatened the family and, according to family members, treated them like ‘slaves’. He told them that Pakistan is a Muslim country where Hindus have no right to practice their religion and damaged the family’s place of worship. The family was forced to leave the village.

August 2016

Location: Sukkur
Nature of incident: Bonded labour

A Hindu couple and their two children worked as bonded labourers for a Muslim landlord, forced to perform both agricultural and domestic labour. The landlord – allegedly angered on account of one of the children refusing to complete a task – accused him of stealing, declared this would make permanent the family’s indentured servitude.
Bonded labour is a form of modern-day slavery and is among the most pressing human rights issues in Pakistan. Nearly 2.3 million people work in bondage, the third highest number after India and China, and according to some estimates over 80 per cent of these labourers are Hindus.

August 2016

Location: Gambat, Sindh
Nature of incident: Physical attack, discrimination

Everyday discrimination of non-Muslims in Pakistan is such that, in some cases, Muslims and non-Muslims do not share food or water, based on the notions that the latter are ‘unclean’. In the village of Daraza Sharif Gambat, a Hindu man, Ajay* drank from a public water tap near a bus stop, which upset others living in the area. The result was that Ajay was attacked by other locals, which resulted in permanent injuries.

September 2016

Location: Khairpur, Sindh
Nature of incident: Intimidation, discrimination

Pathan and Makhan went to visit their Muslim friends and collect meat on Eid-ul-Azha. Muslims celebrate Eid by sacrificing animals and sharing the meat with neighbours, relatives and poorer sections of society. However, upon arriving at their friend’s house, some others also present stated that ‘Hindu unbelievers’ should not even be given a bite of meat. After this, a crowd of people gathered and reportedly threatened that if they did not leave the area they would be killed.

October 2016

Ghotki, Sindh
Nature of incident: Physical attack

A 16-year-old boy was severely beaten during Diwali while he was bathing from a tap near a lake in his village. A Muslim man saw him and beat the child for making the water ‘impure’ by touching the tap. The perpetrator allegedly told him that, as a Hindu, he has no right to bathe in an area used by Muslims, after which he was severely beaten.

October 2016

Nawabshah, Sindh
Nature of incident: Physical attack, bonded labour

Dandoo Ji, a Hindu, was beaten by a Muslim landlord after informing him that his wife, who worked for the landlord, was unwell and therefore would not be able to work on the crops that day. He was later also forced to bring his wife to work, despite her illness.