PM for minorities’ protection as protest cripples Larkana
ISLAMABAD/LARKANA: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Sunday expressed deep anguish and concern over the incident in Larkana where Hindu property and a temple were damaged by some miscreants.
He said provision of security to all minorities was the responsibility of the government. The prime minister directed all the provincial governments to take comprehensive measures for protecting the life and property of Hindus and other minorities. He also directed to ensure bringing the situation under control immediately and that no such law and order situation would be created in the future.
Meanwhile, a complete shutter down strike was observed in the entire district of Larkana, and more than 20 people were injured and over 25 shops were destroyed while eight shops were set ablaze in Jaffarabad and Nasirabad districts in protest against the alleged desecration of the holy Quran on Sunday. All the small and large business centres were shut.
A mob furious over the alleged desecration of holy pages went out of control, surrounded the main temple and set the Dharamshala on fire late on Saturday night on Jinnah Bagh Road in Larkana triggering panic and fear in the entire city.
People took to the roads in Usta Muhammad, Dera Allah Yar, Sohbatpur, Gandakha, Dera Murad Jamali, Tamboo, Mnajho Shori, Notal, Chattar, Phuleji, Mir Hassan and other areas of Jaffarabad and Nasirabad districts. Usta Muhammad suddenly turned into battlefield as angry mob set ablaze eight shops and destroyed more than 25 others. Shops of the Hindu community were also looted.
The FC was called out in Usta Muhammad, Dera Allah Yar, Sohbatpur and Dera Murad Jamali.Besides, inter-district transport also went off the road causing great inconvenience to the citizens.
The police and Rangers were deployed at all the worship places of Hindus and key business centres in the entire district.The Hindu community in Naudero and Ratodero closed their businesses and did not celebrate Holi due to fear of the demonstrators.
They remained confined to their homes as the unruly mobs continued protests in many areas holding sticks.According to reports, an unannounced curfew has been clamped on Larkana as immense tension overtook the entire city. According to police sources, a Hindu youth who is said to have committed the sacrilegious act was apprehended by personnel of the Market Police Station and moved to an undisclosed location.
The police sources said the arrested 32-year man was in intoxicated when he desecrated the holy pages. Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan took notice of the tense situation in the city and directed the law-enforcement agencies for expeditious steps to contain the flashpoint.
The governor also directed the Inspector General of Police to file an early report on the outbreak of violence in the city. Taking notice of the incident, Chairperson of Pakistan People’s Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari talked to Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah on the phone and directed him to immediately curb the situation.
Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah summoned a report from DIG Larkana regarding the volatile situation. Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Chief Altaf Hussain denounced the violent situation, asserting the assaults on the properties of the Hindu community stand in stark contradiction with Islamic teachings.
Expressing sorrow over the alleged burning of the holy pages and ensuing violence in Larkana, he demanded of the government to arrest the accused and those involved in attacking the Hindu temple.
He called on the government to provide protection to the life and property of the Hindu community.Sindh Minister for Information Sharjeel Inam Memon said that Islam is religion of peace, love and brotherhood so the attackon minorities’ worship places, after Larkana incident, was condemnable.
In a statement, he said that Larkana police had arrested the blasphemer and stern action would be taken against him as per law. He said that the conspiracy to make Muslims and religious minorities to fight with each other in the pretext of Larkana incident would not be allowed to succeed.
He said that Sindh government would fully protect worship places of minorities and compensate their losses. He said that government would also reconstruct damaged temple. A meeting of Amn Committee was held at Circuit House here in which PPP MNAs Ramesh Lal and Ayaz Soomro participated along with Larkana Division Commissioner, DIGP Dr Saeed Mangnejo and Khadim Rind, ulema, members of Hindu Panchyat and other district administration officers.
They unanimously resolved that peace should be restored in the district and culprits involved in burning and damaging property of Hindu community and burning of holy pages should be arrested with the help of CCTV camera and be punished under the existing laws of the land.
The meeting also condemned the unfortunate incidents. A committee was also constituted under the chairmanship of SSP Larkana Khalid Mustafa Korai which would consist of two members each from Muslims and Hindu communities.
It will identify the accused involved in damaging property. Ulema said on the occasion that Islam is the religion of peace and it does not allow anyone to destroy properties of people who belong to other religions.
They said that it is their responsibility to protect the lives and property of minorities. MNAs later visited Dharamshalla and damaged temple where Ayaz Soomro told Hindu community that MNA Faryal Talpur had announced to bear the costs of all damaged property.