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Hindu Businessman Shot Dead In Pakistan, Protesters Block Highway

Hindu businessman was shot dead in Pakistan’s Sindh province on Monday by influential elements allegedly belonging to the Dahar community, living 2 km away from the Daharki town of Ghotki district, reported local media. Satan Lal, the businessman, was shot dead on Monday over a piece of land in Ghotki district. “There was an inauguration of a cotton factory and flour mill on the land of Satan Lal where some people shot and killed him,” Lal’s friend Mukhi Anil Kumar, who was present at the scene told reporters over the phone.

“We initially thought that it was the aerial firing to welcome Saen Sadhram Saheb, spiritual leader of the community,” he added. “They are threatening to kill me, smash my eyes and cut my hands and feet. They are asking me to leave Pakistan. I belong to this country and will prefer to die here but will not surrender,” said Satan Lal in a video that went viral a few months ago. “The roadside land belongs to me and why should I give it up,” he was further quoted as saying. Lal had requested the chief justice of Pakistan and other authorities to provide him justice, naming those who were threatening to kill him.

On Tuesday, a large number of protesters blocked the National Highway to protest the killing of the Hindu businessman. Following the sit-in, police arrested ring leader Bachal Dahar and his accomplices accused of killing Lal. Earlier, in an attempt to press the law enforcement agency to apprehend the culprits, the locals had staged a protest in front of the Daharki police. The culprits involved in the incident have been arrested and protesters have now cleared the highway, said Deputy Inspector General (DIG) police Sukkur.

A two-acre land triggered the dispute. Around eight years ago, some people had shot and injured Satan Lal who also came under attack a few months ago, claimed local journalists from the area. Efforts were afoot to tarnish the image of co-existence in Sindh where Hindus and Muslims live peacefully for centuries, said Khehal Das Kohistani, a lawmaker of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). Girls of the Hindu community were forcibly converted and people were being kidnapped and killed, claimed the PML-N leader. Stressing that the situation will spiral out of control if protection is not given to the minorities living in the province, Mr Kohistani urged the Chief Minister, IG police and others to take notice of the situation and provide justice and protection to the aggrieved Hindu families facing threats, according to reports.

The incident came after a 44-year-old Hindu businessman Sunil Kumar was shot dead by unidentified persons at Anaj Mandi in Sindh Province of Pakistan in early January. The recent attacks on Satan Lal and Sunil Kumar are yet another example of continuing atrocities against minorities in Pakistan, especially Hindus, Ahmadiyyas and Christians. In recent years, there has been a surge in attacks on minorities and also their places of worship in Pakistan. The country has been slammed by the international community for not safeguarding the interests of minorities.

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