Hindus are in precarious – their daughters are not safe – their business are not safe and now, nor are their graveyards/cremations. Land grabber mafia seen encroaching land of Hindus in Sindh.
Non-Muslims are easy target to grab their land. Local influential people can use power of politics and religion for grabbing land. They can lay claim to land by changing documents. It has been stated that the land belong to Hindu citizens. But, official authorities do not help Hindu citizen those who have legal documents on the land.
Official authorities are claimed to have assisted land grabbers, getting a possession of land – therefore, cases remain unresolved.
The issue of land or graveyard is not first time, but recently, many cases of encroachment having been reported. Hindu citizens are perturbed about being not able to perform their religious rituals.
Hindus are reported to have held for burying dead body. In Hinduism – some do cremate and some bury.
Bhoro Bheel, age of 30, whose dead body was dug out of the grave and dragged through streets by religious parties at Pangrio, Sindh in October, 2013. Another incident reported in Hala city, parents were looking for a piece of land to bury their daughter’s dead body because influential person did not allow them to bury. Nevertheless, In Hyderabad, Tando Muhammad Wali, area of cremation has been encroached, including temple being encroached by land mafia. Houses have been built there, Dome of Temple can be seen on houses. Even though, road name is still same in Sindhi “Masaan,” cremation ground has been vandalized.
“Hindus are neither safe at home, nor in their graves.”
Asad Iqbal Butt, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan at Sindh Chapter, emotionally says that “they do not let alive people live in peace, you are concerning about dead people who cannot return.” Over small issues, Non-Muslims being harassed, burnt, and accused of blasphemy.
“We cannot get sleep when we recall an incident of a child whose dead body was dragged out and then eaten by stray dogs,” said Ravi Dawani, Secretary General at All Pakistan Hindu Panchayat.
He further explained by showing a map of graveyard around 36 acres of land was given to Hindu citizens in Karachi in 1934, his claim that All Pakistan Hindu Panchayat has a map of graveyard for an evidence in Sindh, including across Pakistan.
In Karachi, we have one graveyard as now our population has been increased, and now, we face difficulties that we have to have new grave on old grave because of lack of area, said Ravi Dewani.
If city had religious event like Chelum or another emergency, Curfew – for instance, in 90s, roads were often blocked. He said; roads were often blocked. So, they had to keep frozen dead body at home and now, Edhi center helps them.
Graveyard has been encroached by local people. Besides, Sindh government asked them to take some land, in return, government would compensate them. He said, Sindh government gave them a land of which was of no use to them. “Now, we have only a few acre of land on which we go through religious rituals.”
Asad Iqbal explained The Rise News, how land do business, Gora Qabristan [graveyard] has been encroached in Karachi by land mafia, and its old graves during British era which had expensive things were stolen.
People should understand that graveyards are now in city and its land is very expensive; is used for business. People take a hold of land to do business.
Not only in Karachi, but graveyard issues have been reported in Sanghar and Tando Mohammad Khan.
“Our graveyard has been before partition means, Pakistan. Everyone can see documents at local government office; we have an authority and then officers had agreed with us that land is ours,” Dhiyan Gir who follows the case of graveyard in Khipro, subdivision of Sanghar. Officers were reluctant to help them. Local influential people had encroached upon their land, and doing their business on it. “They has been complaining but to no avail,” he says. Report has been sent to authorities to look into the matter of graveyard issues.
Dhiyan Gir narrated how he started following case of graveyard when he asked Aqil Hajan who allegedly involved in grabbing land, gave them passage to see and pray at their loved ones graves and his mother’s. Hajan blatanly refused them.
“We realized that if they do not let us step in it, tomorrow, they will snatch our remaining graveyard as they have already encroached on the land.”
They had no other piece of land where they would go, he asked.
However, local authorities accepted that graveyard [cremation] belonged to Hindu, but land grabbers had not evocated the land. “It shows that land mafia is being encouraged by influential persons,” tells Vindo Kumar who lives in Tando Mohammad Khan has been fighting for graveyard for past two years.
Ravi Dawani had written letters to Rangers and Sindh government to resolve the issue of graveyard. Sindh government should allocate graveyard to each district.
Government has not enacted a law to protect graveyard and ought to help Non-Muslims for their right of graveyard – in addition to graveyard of Hindus, Christians and Muslims have problem, too, said Asad Iqbal.
Hindu cremation grounds had libraries and swimming pools, recalls Ravi Dawani. “Nowadays, Hindus ask to have small piece of land on which can perform religious ceremonies.”
Pakistan constitution gives equal rights to everyone, and our rights should be treated, accordingly.
“We have difficulties, at least, let us die in peace,” he says.
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