Riots Erupt In Ghotki Following Blasphemy Allegations Against Hindu Principal
Ghotki witnessed a breakdown of law and order as a large number of people protested against an alleged incident of blasphemy on Sunday.
According to a report in Dawn, the protests started on Saturday following a registration of a first information report (FIR) against the Hindu principal of Sindh Public School. The complaint was registered by Abdul Aziz Rajput, a student’s father who alleged that the principal had committed blasphemy. The FIR was lodged under Article 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code.
During the protests, the area’s residents demanded that the police should arrest the principal. Videos of charged protesters with sticks went viral on social media. The protesters could be seen damaging a Hindu temple and the school where the incident allegedly took place.
Ghotki Senior Superintendent of Police Farrukh Lanjar informed media that the police were maintaining the law and order situation. Moreover, special assistant to Chief Minister Sindh on Human Rights Advocate Veerji Kolhi stated to the media that the situation was being handled in order to prevent more damage or rioting.
The head of the Pakistan Hindu Council, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) MNA Ramesh Kumar Vankwani apprised media that the case had been handed to Hyderabad Deputy Inspector General Naeem Shaikh. He stated that for safety reasons, the principal was currently being kept at an undisclosed location and would be handed over to the Hyderabad DIG.
Vankwani said that three temples, a private school and multiple houses of the Hindu community had been damaged by the protesters, adding that he had asked police to register an FIR against the rioters.
Meanwhile, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan expressed alarm on the situation and stated that authorities should take swift action against the violence and prevent any harm to the school principal.
#Ghotki The authorities must take prompt action to quell the violence and ensure the safety of the school principal being targeted. The video circulated earlier is chilling: mob violence against a member of a religious minority is barbaric, unacceptable. https://t.co/0OrxUsO2fV
— Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (@HRCP87) September 15, 2019
Furthermore, protests have also occurred in the nearby towns of Mirpur Mathelo and Adilpur, with demonstrators blocking roads. The protests have terrorised the Hindu community who have been forced indoors because of the deteriorating law and order situation.