A Hindu businessman in his early fifties named Shankar Lal was shot dead in broad daylight by three men on a motorcycle near Shikarpur in the Sindh province of Pakistan. A trader in grains, Shankar was on his way to his shop in the local market when he was attacked. The killers fired three bullets into Shankar and he was declared brought dead by the time he was rushed to the local hospital.
His relatives and other local businessmen protested and blocked the roads. They demonstrated for hours with Shankar’s body demanding police action against the killers. Media reports confirmed the arrest of a man named Ahmed Gopang for the murder of Shankar. Local police also seemed to suggest that raids were being conducted to detain other accused.
They released the body after the arrest and it was taken to the civil hospital for the post-mortem formalities and was later handed over to relatives. It is alleged that a dispute regarding the ownership of a plot of residential land resulted in his killing.
Media reports also suggested that Shankar is the third Hindu to be killed in that particular area in the past three months.
Just last month, a local Hindu journalist named Ajay Lalvani (31) was murdered in a similar manner near Sukker, also in Sindh province. The assailants drove by on two motorcycles and a car pumping Ajay with bullets. He later died at a nearby hospital. He was getting a haircut when the attack happened. Police blamed ‘personal enmity’ while Ajay`s family denied the same and it is believed he was killed as he was vocal about human rights violations of the minority Hindu population.
Many regard the arrest of Shankar’s killer as a miracle (the others in the gang are still on the run) considering the current situation in Pakistan where anarchy reigns. Protests by the hardline Islamist TLP party demanding expulsion of French diplomats has led to clashes with police and military who are shooting protestors dead. Military personnel have now openly quit the establishment and have joined hands with TLP.
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