UMERKOT, Aug 2: A case was registered on Friday evening against 10 people mostly belonging to the Pakhtun community for attacking the houses of Meghwar community members in Umerkot and kidnapping two women on Thursday night.

The two women were later recovered by police.

The case was registered at the Umerkot police station against Hussain Khan, Shahbaz Khan, Feroz Khan, Lahore Khan, Rahim Khan, Hayat Khan, Nadir Khan, Naseeb Khan, Azam Khan and Waryam Bhambhro on the complaint of Guljee Meghwar.

According to Umerkot SSP Qamar Jiskani, the attack took place to avenge the alleged kidnapping of a Pakhtun girl in the Sohrab Goth area of Karachi. He said that Faqiro Meghwar, who worked at a petrol station owned by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf MNA Lal Malhi in Umerkot, developed a relationship with a Pakhtun girl in Karachi over the phone.

The girl went missing a week ago and the family alleged that she had been kidnapped by Mr Meghwar and a case was also registered against him at the Sohrab Goth police station.

On Thursday night members of the Pakhtun community from four districts bearing heavy ammunition barged into the houses of Meghwar community members in Umerkot’s Post Office area.

The attackers beat the residents up and kidnapped two women, Khaani and Bhagaan Meghwar.

In swift action taken late Thursday night, the Umerkot police cordoned off the area and all entry and exit points of the city, and recovered both kidnapped women from Umerkot-Mirpurkhas Road.

They also arrested five persons who were identified as Meva Khan, Shahbaz Khan, Hussain Khan, Mir Khan, Rahim Khan and Naseeb Khan and also claimed to have seized weapons from them.

Meanwhile, members of the Meghwar community were jolted by the armed attack and were evacuating their houses on Friday fearing another such incident.

Talking to Dawn, Girdhari Meghwar, brother of Faqir Meghwar, said that his brother was missing but the family had learnt that the Pakhtun girl had moved with his brother who had converted to Islam. He called the attack on their houses an act of terrorism, saying that the police did not book the suspects under the anti-terrorism law.

Meanwhile, civil society organisations including the District Development Association of Thar (DDAT), which works on protecting the rights of minority communities, condemned the act.

According to DDAT project coordinator Kapil Dev, around 25 Meghwar families had left their homes fearing of ensuing violence.

However, he appreciated the prompt action of the police in recovering the women, adding that if it were not for that the situation could have turned worse.

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