Angry over killings, Hindus observe strike in Sindh

The Pakistan Hindu Council which had initially said that four Hindu doctors were gunned down on Eid day later clarified that three Hindus were killed in the attack.

"It is now confirmed that those killed included a doctor, Dr Ajit Kumar and two of his relatives who were businessmen, Naresh Kumar and Ashok Kumar," Dr Ramesh Kumar, a former lawmaker and chief patron of the PHC, told PTI.

He said a fourth person, Dr Satia Pal, was badly wounded in the attack and is now under intensive care in a Karachi hospital. "He is still struggling for his life," Kumar said.

Police have so far arrested 13 people in connection with the killings, a police official said.

Since the funeral of the three Hindus killed allegedly by the Muslim Bhayo community in a town near Shikarpur, the community has been observing an indefinite strike in many parts of Sindh including Shikarpur, Larkana, Umarkot, Tharparkar, Nawabshah.

"The Hindu community has shut down its businesses and are observing the strike until the killers are apprehended," said Pitanbar Sewani, an elected representative of the Hindu community belonging to Sukkur district.

The community members closed down their business in protest and announced an indefinite strike till those responsible for the killing are brought to book.

Members of Hindu community alleged that police had been patronising the criminals.

Police officials said the Hindu community in Shikarpur had been in conflict with the Muslim Bhayo community over an alleged case of sexual assault.

"The Muslims claim three Hindus had sexually assaulted a Muslim girl. Until now no compromise has been worked out," an official said.

He said following the incident police raided a house in Chak near Shikarpur and arrested three Hindu boys with a dancing girl who were allegedly involved in assaulting the Muslim girl.

But before a solution could be reached, gunmen fired upon and killed the Hindu doctor and two businessmen, who were relatives of the arrested Hindu boys.

A member of the Hindu community said they had been living in fear for sometime now in Shikarpur where the Bhayo community extorted money from them.

"The real problem started because we stopped paying for the last three months and they have been threatening us since and the police patronizes them," said Dr Pardeep, a relative of the victims.

President Asif Ali Zardari has ordered an inquiry into the incident and has sent minority affairs minister Mohan Lal to Shikarpur.

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