Sindh: The tragic story of Kandhkot protest

Protestors in Kandhkot (Photo:PTI)

Kandhkot protest by the local Hindus has been brutally dealt with by the Sindh Police which is backed by the Paki ‘establishment’, injuring many protestors demanding the release of individuals abducted by the dacoits. On Wednesday, Sindh police reached the protest site and carried on a baton charge over the peaceful protestors.

The chain of protests and demonstrations in Pakistan is both widespread and diversified. Almost every region is protesting against the establishment. Every region has its own problem that ranges from enforced disappearance, persecution, indiscriminate tax surge, religious persecution among others. In between all this Sindh is also registering its protest against the failure of law-and-order machinery.

People of Sindh, for quite some time, have been raising the concern of dacoits that are freely executing crimes without any fear. But the negligent establishment failed to provide redressal. In a series of abductions Mukhi Jagdish Kumar, a 72-year-old Hindu trader was abducted on June 22 from Bakshapur town of Kashmore district in Sindh. Along with him, the dacoits also abducted his grandson Jagdish Kumar, who is 9 years old. While the Police turned a blind eye to his abduction, a month later, a video was released by his son showing Jagdish Kumar in shackles and being tortured by the dacoits.

The dacoits demanded Rs. 5 crores as ransom for the release of Jagdish Kumar. Meanwhile, another young man named Sagar Kumar was also abducted by the dacoits on August 9. Later, a similar video was again released by the dacoits in which Sagar Kumar was chained and was brutally tortured. He, akin to Jagdish Kumar, pleaded for his release. Unfortunately, even after two months of such horrendous law and order violations, the Police kept silent and no actions were taken.

Start of the Kashmore Protest

Some reports suggest that a doctor named Munir Niyaj has also been captivated by the dacoits for more than 40 days. As per protestors, there are approximately 10 people who had been abducted by the dacoits.

As people were disheartened over their unfortunate condition in Pakistan, it was another video of Jagdish Kumar that made people enraged. Seeing no other way left, the frustrated people of Kashmore decided to organize a protest demonstration and a sit-in to seek the establishment’s attention to the case in point.

On September 1, the Hindu community staged a protest at Dera More in Kashmore. The protest got widespread attention and sympathy from all across Sindh. The protest led to the release of Mukhi Jagdish Kumar and two others. As a result, the Kashmore protest was called off on Tuesday, September 5th.

However, there were other people in captivity, who were not released, the local residents started another protest, referred to as Kandhkot protest, the very next day.

But soon after the protest started, local police started lathi-charge on the people. The protestors were so brutally treated that some of them sought immediate medical attention. Police also lodged FIR against some of the protestors. Besides this unjustified act by the local police, a group of assailants also infiltrated the event and injured the protestors, showing a clear nexus between the Police and assailants.

Never-Ending Tale Of Hindu Persecution

While talking to The Dawn, Qaumi Awami Tehreek (QAT) leader and Sindh Bar Council (SBC) member Advocate Abdul Ghani Bijarani, said: “The sit-in at Kashmore’s Dera More ended last night, but this protest is in fact continuity of it.” He went on to say, “We are just demanding recovery of hostages and nothing else.” And “We are being told to call off the protest, but we refuse to do so.”

The baton charge aggravated the anger even more and to pacify the protestors, the local SHO has been suspended by the SSP. According to him, the measures taken by the SHO were unauthorized from the high ups. Furthermore, an enquiry has also been ordered by the SSP.

Nevertheless, what the SSP is doing is nothing more than a damage control procedure. Currently, the situation still remains vulnerable as the protests have been thrashed brutally and those who are in captivity of dacoits still don’t have any way out.

So, how the Kashmore protest started and later transformed into Kandhkot protest is yet another tragic incident that underscores the worsened law and order situation in Sindh along with the never-ending tale of Hindu persecution in  the region.

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