KARACHI, Nov 9: Unidentified men gunned down three Hindu doctors in Chak town, near Shikarpur, on Monday in a vendetta over a dancing girl with a tribe.
“Two men riding a motorcycle sprayed a clinic with bullets, killing the three Hindu men and injuring a paramedic,” Ramesh Kumar, chief of the Pakistan Hindu Council, said.
The dead men were identified as Ajeet Kumar, Naresh Kumar and Ashok Kumar.
Naresh Kumar and Ashok died instantly while Dr Ajeet Kumar and Dr Satyapal were taken to Sukkur’s Civil Hospital, where Dr Ajeet Kumar died of injuries.
Dr Satyapal was shifted to Karachi’s Aga Khan Hospital. He was stated to be out of danger.
The incident drew immediate attention of the President and the prime minister. After their intervention Sindh Home Minister Manzoor Hussain Wassan visited Chak town and assured the victims’ relatives that the government was determined to bring the culprits to book.
Mr Wassan ordered suspension of the SHO of Chak police station while police arrested an unknown number of suspects during raids at suspected hideouts.
On Tuesday, provincial minister Agha Sirajuddin Durrani also visited Chak and expressed condolences with relatives of the dead. Shikarpur PPP president Mir Badal Khan Bahyo accompanied the minister.
Ramesh Kumar, the Hindu Council chief, told AFP that a dispute had been brewing for the past three weeks between the Hindu community and the Baban Khan Bhayo tribe after Hindu boys brought a Muslim dancing girl to the area.
“Police raided the house where the girl was dancing and arrested four boys,” said Ramesh Kumar.
The issue was referred to a jirga, which decided to arbitrate over the case after Eid holidays, but before that could happen the matter took a gruesome turn, he added.
Members of the Hindu community began a three-day mourning in response to a call by the Hindu Council and the Hindu Punchayat Committee.
The Hindu community asked police to give them protection after receiving threatening calls warning of “serious consequences”.
LAST RITES: The last rites of the three men were conducted at Shikarpur’s Sadhu Bela temple, along the Indus, on Tuesday evening
A large number of Hindus attended the rites. Prominent among them were Sindh Minister Mohan Lal, PPP MNA Lal Chan, PML MNA Darshan Lal and Jeay Sindh leader Bashir Khan Qureshi.
Earlier, angry members of the Hindu community took the bodies from Chak to Sukkur Press Club and carried out a sit-in, calling for arrest of the killers.
The incident caused panic in the area, which is a part of the constituency of NA-203 where PML-Q’s federal minister Ghous Bux Khan Mahar was declared the winner in a by-election last month on 47 polling stations against PPP’s candidate Wahid Bux Khan Bhayo.
Shikarpur SSP Junaid Ahmed Shaikh said a police operation was in progress at various places for the arrest of culprits.
Seventeen suspects from Bhayo community have been arrested.
An FIR was registered on Tuesday against 15 Bhayo clansmen for the triple murder.
Relatives of the victims expressed their dissatisfaction over the FIR and termed it a fabricated one to give benefit of doubt to the accused.
According to them, they would lodge another FIR to “bring facts to light”.