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Sunday, June 4, 2023

Ghotki violence was planned to cover-up kidnapping of 11-year-old Hindu girl: Pakistani activist

The blasphemy charge & anti-Hindu violence in Pakistan’s Ghotki was designed to pre-emptively suppress protests by local Hindus over the kidnapping of an 11-year-old Hindu girl just a day before the violence erupted, as per a report in Pakistani digital news outlet Naya Daur.

Principal Notan Das was accused of abusing Islam’s Prophet Muhammad by one of his students, and on that pretext the entire Hindu community in the district of Ghotki in Sindh province has been facing targeted attacks by Muslim extremists led by the notorious politico-religious figure Mian Mithoo.

Now a local social activist, on the condition of anonymity, informed Naya Daur that the blasphemy charge and subsequent violence were all planned by local Muslim fundamentalists.

In October 2018, an 11-year-old girl Monika was abducted from Hala, Sindh with an aim to forcibly convert & marry her. The girl had been recovered and the court had ordered that the girl should be returned to her parents because she was underage.

According to the activist, the girl had been given refuge by Notan Das. So the blasphemy charge was levelled against the Principal in order to teach him a lesson for daring to defy the Islamic conversion mafia. Many such cases of Pakistan’s draconian blasphemy law being used to settle personal scores or intimidate minorities have come to light earlier as well – Ramesh Kumar, Asia Bibi, Prakash Kumar.

Even more chillingly, the activist added that 11-year-old Monika had again been kidnapped, just a day before the riots erupted. Her abductors intend to use the blasphemy allegations against Notan Das and subsequent violence, to intimidate the Hindu community of the area into not protesting against Monika’s kidnapping.

Meanwhile, Pakistani PM Imran Khan has termed the Ghotki violence a ‘conspiracy’ to defame him and Pakistan just before he is scheduled to speak at the UN General Assembly in New York.

Bharat’s government should demand Pakistan to provide the exact whereabouts of 11-year-old Monika and offer unconditional refuge to the minor girl and her family if the Pakistani establishment are unable to guarantee their safety.

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