ISLAMABAD: The riots in Ghotki last week were a conspiracy to foment communal riots and cause fear among the Hindu community, according to conclusions made by a fact-finding delegation.

The attacks on temples and riots were pre-meditated, politically motivated and had tacit political support, according to the report.

The delegation was formed by the Ministry of Human Rights after consultations with parliamentarians, lawyers, civil society members, journalists and human rights activists. The delegation was tasked with presenting its findings on allegations made by a student of a private school that the institution’s principal had committed blasphemy and the attacks that followed on temples in Ghotki and Larkana. The team was further asked to ascertain facts behind the mysterious death of a final year student in a Larkana dental college last week.

The delegation noted in its findings that while Rangers had to be called out to maintain law and order, police were reluctant to even register first information reports (FIR).

“The police did not take into account the fact that attacks were planned and a few influential persons were involved in crimes. Police showed slackness in tackling the situation,” the report said.

Riots erupted in Ghotki on Sept 15 after a student of a private school alleged that his teacher had committed blasphemy.

The Hindu community in Ghotki has been raising voice against forced conversions for the past several years.

The delegation met leaders of the Hindu community in Ghotki before compiling the report. It called upon the government to take measures for protection of minorities in line with orders of the apex court.

Members of the delegation concluded that the riots in Ghotki were a conspiracy to undermine communal harmony. The Hindu community called for a judicial inquiry into allegations of blasphemy against the professor.

Student’s death

The delegation also met and condoled with the family of Nimrita Chandani, a dental college student who died last week in mysterious circumstances.

Nimrita Chandani, a final year student of Bibi Aseefa Dental College, Larkana, was found dead in her hostel room on Sept 18.

Police have so far been unable to determine the cause of her death.

A judicial inquiry has already been ordered into the death.

Published in Dawn, September 28th, 2019