FO summons Indian envoy over 'mysterious' deaths of 11 Pakistani Hindus in Jodhpur

Published September 14, 2020
The bodies of 11 people, including children, from a single family were found in a field in Jodhpur district of India. — Photo courtesy BBC Urdu
The bodies of 11 people, including children, from a single family were found in a field in Jodhpur district of India. — Photo courtesy BBC Urdu

Pakistan on Monday summoned the Indian chargé d'affaires to convey its serious concern over the deaths of 11 Pakistani Hindus, whose bodies were found in "mysterious" circumstances in a village field in India's Rajasthan state last month.

On August 9, the bodies of 11 people including children from a single family, who had migrated to India from Pakistan, were found in a field in Jodhpur district. According to reports, only one member of the family, which belonged to the Bheel community, now remains.

The Indian envoy was told that "despite repeated requests by the High Commission for Pakistan in New Delhi for details regarding the tragic incident, the Indian government continues to evade the issue, has disclosed only scant information about the case, and has failed to share any substantive details regarding the cause and circumstances of the deaths", the Foreign Office spokesperson said in a statement.

The press release noted that a daughter of the deceased head of the family, Shrimati Mukhi, had made "highly concerning statements, implicating the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) in the murder of her father, mother and other family members, allegedly after [RAW] failed to convince them to spy on Pakistan and issue anti-Pakistan statements".

The envoy was told that it was of "utmost importance" for the Indian government to be fully transparent about the incident in the interest of justice to the family and also to "ensure the safety and security of other Pakistani nationals in India".

"It was emphasised that since the victims of 'Jodhpur incident' were Pakistani nationals, it was incumbent upon the Government of Pakistan to be fully aware of the circumstances under which its nationals died in India," the FO said.

It urged India to carry out a "comprehensive investigation" into the matter and provide access to the Pakistan High Commission to the surviving member of the family. New Delhi was also requested to share copies of the first information report and the initial investigation report and facilitate the presence of the Pakistani high commission's representatives during the post-mortem of the deceased family members "without further delay".

Initial reports had said traces of insecticide were found at the scene where the bodies were discovered.

A preliminary police investigation suggested that the incident may have been the result of a family dispute, a BBC Urdu report said at the time.

Locals had alerted officials after finding the bodies. The deceased had come to India some eight years ago.

According to police, the family had rented a piece of land and used to cultivate it to earn a living. It said 37-year-old Kewal Ram was the only surviving member of the family in India and was being questioned by the police.

The deceased included his parents, brother, three sisters, daughter and two sons, and 75-year-old Budha Ram, the head of the family.

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