HYDERABAD: Members of the shocked Hindu community in Sindh held a protest demonstration outside the local press club on Monday over “unbelievable” claim by the Indian authorities that 11 immigrants from Pakistan had committed mass suicide in Jodhpur on Sunday (Aug 14).

The protesters, led by Amarshi Thakur of the Pakistan Minorities Alliance, alleged that the immigrants were murdered, and appealed to the United Nations, European Union and International Court of Justice (ICJ) to intervene and ensure justice to the bereaved family.

The protesters raised slogans against Indian government and the authorities concerned.

Mr Thakur said that the victims were members of a single family and originally residents of Sanghar district. They had gone to Jodhpur for pilgrimage some 15 months back, he added.

Jodhpur police term the incident ‘mass suicide’, heirs in Sanghar refuse to believe the claim

He said that their relatives in Sindh received information that they had committed joint suicide as claimed by the Jodhpur police. He said their relatives and the Hindu community in Sanghar disbelieved the claim.

Mr Thakur said that no medical examination reports of the deceased were shared with the bereaved family. He called for issuance of the medical examination reports and handing over of the bodies to their heirs.

The protesters said that it was disturbing to note the silence of human rights organisations in India over the deaths. All these organisations, he said, must exert pressure on Indian government for the handover of the bodies to the heirs.

According to a leading Indian newspaper, the 11 persons, who included five children, were found dead on Sunday morning inside the hut they lived in at Lodta village of Dechu area in Jodhpur. “The autopsies indicated consumption of a poisonous substance,” the paper quoted the local police as claiming. The police said there was a possibility that they had committed “mass suicide”.

A note found in the hut alleged threats from relatives of the wives of two members of the family and harassment by police, according to the newspaper’s report.

Published in Dawn, August 16th, 2022

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