Islamabad/New Delhi: In a dastardly incident, a six-year old Hindu girl was gangraped on December 4 by kin of powerful local politician in Pakistan’s Sindh province, near the Indian border.
Vijanthi,a resident of Meghwar Mohalla Ghulam Nabi Shah, Taluka Pithoro District Umerkot , was found lying unconscious near her home on the fateful day.
The two accused are believed to be the political workers of Pakistan Muslim League (Functional), which is an ally of the current PPP-led regime.
The main accused, one Mr. Muhammad Mangrio and his nephew Mashooq Mangrio had also warned local journalists belonging to Dharti TV and Daily Sindh Express that they would be killed if they reported the incident.
Further, it was learnt from the Asian Human Rights Commission that even the local police acted hand-in-glove with the perpetrators in helping them brush the crime under the carpet.
Naturally, no complaint has been filed till now.
But civil society groups led by AWARE (Association for Water Applied Education and Renewable Energy) vehemently denounced the incident as inhuman, and went on a hunger strike in front of the press club of Mirpukhas district in Sindh, calling for the arrest of the accused persons.
Bizarrely, local police provided protection to the politically linked accused after clamours for prosecution groundswelled.
The police, reportedly, even threatened the protestors to end their hunger strike, failing which they would face severe consequences.
PPP’s chairman and President Asif Ali Zardari’ son Bilawal Bhutto issued a statement condemning the incident and appealed for cessation of ‘persecution of religious minorities’ in Pakistan, but his words found no takers in the country grappling with Islamic chauvinism.
Others saw his statement as a mere rhetoric, and claimed that he had neither the will nor the courage to battle the fundamentalists’ mindsets, that has come with Taliban resurgence in the country.
The incident comes on the heels of another incident when a Hindu temple had been razed in the port city of Karachi by the district authorities. The incident created a huge uproar back home in India, prompting the Indian government to take up the issue with the Pakistan government.
Before that, Pakistan authorities had closed down the only crematorium in the country, forcing the Hindus to bury their dead.
Not only Hindus, violence against Christians and even Shias has been plaguing Pakistan from quite some time now, suggesting pernicious levels of extremist’ mentality that has gripped the south Asian country.