Adding to the long string of attacks and oppression against Pakistan’s minority communities, a Hindu family was tortured after they were found fetching water from a mosque’s tap in the Punjab province. The clueless family was detained by angry residents of Basti Kahoor Khan in Rahim Yar Khan district and tortured for allegedly violating the ‘sanctity’ of the holy mosque, ANI reported, citing Dawn in Islamabad. Pakistanis punished the family for entering the mosque premises, which is otherwise a public place, and for collecting water from the Islamic religious grounds.
Earlier, a family member told Dawn that Alam Ram Bheel, a family member, had been working at a raw cotton field along with his wife and other family members when he was struck with thirst after an exhausting day at work. During that time, the family and friends went outside to fetch some drinking water from a nearby mosque, but locals beat them up mercilessly after taking notice. ‘While the family was returning home after unloading the picked cotton, the villagers held them hostage at their outhouse and tortured them again,’ ANI reported, citing Dawn.
Bheel told the Islamabad newspaper that the airport police station refused to register the case because the attackers were connected to a parliamentarian from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. Several locals of Basti Kahoor Khan intervened to allow the Bheel family to leave after hours of torturous ordeal. According to Dawn, when the Pakistani police refused to formally lodge an anti-Hindu complaint against Ram Bheel, he and his brother Peter Jhon Bheel protested outside the station.
Jon, a member of the district peace committee, told the paper the family approached PTI MNA Javed Warriach last Friday to file an FIR under sections 506, 154, 379, 148, and 149 of the Pakistan Penal Code. According to reports, Yodhister Chohan, the PTI’s south Punjab minority wing secretary-general, is aware of the incident, but prefers to stay away due to ‘the influence of a ruling party’.
District Police Officer Asad Sarfraz told the Islamabad reporters that he would investigate the matter, while the area’s Deputy Commissioner Dr. Khuram Shehzad said they would meet the family on Monday, 20 September, and no action would be taken until then. Farooq Rind, a senior lawyer and former district bar president, told Dawn that he knew the minority Bheel family that lived in the Basti Kahoor for several years. The Hindu family is extremely hardworking, he said, condemning the attack. According to him, they worked on a farm and were extremely poor