The Fact News Service
Islamabad, September 21
A Hindu family was allegedly held hostage and tortured for “violating the sanctity” of a mosque when they tried to fetch drinking water from the place of worship in Pakistan’s Punjab province, a media report said on Monday.
According to the report in Dawn newspaper, Alam Ram Bheel, a resident of Punjab’s Rahimyar Khan city, was picking raw cotton with his family members in a field. When the family went outside a nearby mosque to fetch drinking water from a tap, some local landlords beat them up.
As the family was returning home after unloading the cotton, the landlords held them hostage at their dera (outhouse) and tortured them again for “violating the sanctity” of the mosque, the report said.
The police did not register a case as the attackers were related to a local parliamentarian of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, the report said citing Bheel.
Protesting the police apathy, Bheel held a sit-in outside the police station along with other members of the community.
A case was registered on Friday after the intervention of PTI lawmaker Javed Warriach, the report said.
Farooq Rind, a senior lawyer and former district bar president, said the Bheels had been living in the area for over a century and most of them were farm workers and extremely poor.
The accused landlords, Rind said, were notorious for picking up fights with other villagers over petty issues. He has promised free legal aid for the complainant, the report said.
Hindus form the biggest minority community in Pakistan. According to official estimates, 7.5 million Hindus live in Pakistan. However, according to the community, over 9 million Hindus are living in the country.