Pakistani Hindu pilgrims arrive  at the India-Pakistan border border post in Wagah – Photo  by AFP
Pakistani Hindu pilgrims arrive at the India-Pakistan border border post in Wagah – Photo by AFP

SUKKUR, Aug 16: Leaders of Jacobabad’s Hindu community have accused president of the Hindu Panchayat, Babu Mahesh Lal, of making an issue of the Hindus migrating to India and blowing it out of proportion to serve his own vested interests.

Addressing a joint press conference, former president of Hindu Panchayat Jacobabad Lal Chand Seetlani, ad other leaders Jay Chand Kasturi, Mukhi Raj Kumar, Roshan Lal, Comrade Ajeet Kumar and Dr. Kanwal said that Hindu families had gone to India to visit holy places but Babu Mahesh Lal called it migration in order to gain his personal vested interests.

They said that during his recent meetings with Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah and MNA Faryal Talpur, Mahesh Lal sold the honour of Hindu girls by getting license for wine sale.

Instead of talking about protection to Hindus and urging the government to stop kidnapping of girls, Babu Mahesh fell for the wine license and made the heads of Hindu community people hang in shame, they said.

They appealed to the chief minister and MNA Faryal Talpur not to allow themselves to be hoodwinked by Babu Mahesh and take back the license issued to him.

They said the tenure of Babu Mahesh as president of the Hindu Panchayat had ended on July 16 but he managed to whip up the issue of migration of Hindus and tightened his grip on the Panchayat .

They alleged that Babu Mahesh had misappropriated million of rupees of the Citizens Community Board funds and called for his resignation and formation of an interim set-up for the election of a new Panchayat .

They urged the government to provide funds to elected representatives to enable them to carry out development schemes and provide jobs and scholarships to the young male and female Hindus.

They said that Panchayat was rich in resources and had no need of donations.

The house Babu Mahesh lived in was the property of Panchayat while he had sold off a shop given to him by Mukhi Chaman Lal, they said.

They appealed to Hindu community not to leave Sindh, a land of Sufis who preached love, peace and affection, and urged them to face the situation with courage. They demanded an end to kidnappings of Hindu girls and complete safety and protection to Hindus.

They appealed to President Asif Zardari, Sindh chief minister and MNA Faryal Talpur that if the license for wine sale issued to Babu Mahesh was not withdrawn immediately and protection was not provided to Hindu community people, especially girls then they would launch a movement after Eid.

They said that Hindu community was facing excesses in Sindh and Balochistan and said that many Hindu families had migrated to India from different cities including Jacobabad.

Meanwhile, a large number of Hindu community people took out a procession in Jacobabad on Thursday in protest against betrayal of Babu Mahesh and injustices with the community in Jacobabad and adjoining areas. Former president of Panchayat Lal Chand Seetlani led the protest.

Our Bureau adds: Institute for Social Movements, a civil society organisation and an umbrella for several rights movements, community organisations and NGOs have expressed concern over reports of migration of Hindus from Sindh.

In a statement issued here on Thursday, ISM spokesman Zulfikar Shah said that Hindus who were over seven million in the province were forced to migrate because of harassment, forced conversions, abductions and murders.

He said that protection of honour, lives, property, faith and culture of all citizens was government’s responsibility under the constitution and international law.