Who Is Mian Mithu?
Ghotki has erupted in riots following blasphemy allegations against a school principal from the Hindu community. The protesters have vandalised a Hindu temple and the school where the alleged incident took place.
At the forefront of the violence and rioting is the infamous Mian Mithu, who was seen in videos leading the mob which allegedly vandalised the Hindu temple in Ghotki.
— Saeed Sangri (@Sangrisaeed) September 15, 2019
Mian Abdul Haq, commonly known as Mian Mithu, belongs to an influential family in the Sindh province and is an influential political and religious figure in Ghotki. He had been elected as a member of the National Assembly from Ghotki in the elections of 2008 on a Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) ticket. He is also the custodian of a Muslim shrine, Barchundi Sharif.
But for the Hindi community of Sindh, Mian Mithu is a terrifying figure. The local Hindus accuse him of kidnapping and forced conversions of Hindu girls. Hindus of the area claim that Mithu provided protection to those who kidnap Hindu girls, who are often underage, and forcibly converts them to Islam before marrying them off to their kidnappers.
The politico-religious figure is also famous for using his political power to influence legal processes in case families of kidnapped girls decide to go to court. With Mian Mithu wielding so much power, it is no wonder that he rubs shoulders with powerful people.
Moreover, in 2015, Imran Khan had extended an invite to Mian Mithoo to join the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), a move that drew widespread criticism from the Hindu community.
Mian Mitho is once again at the helm of events detrimental to the security of the Hindu community. With his videos amongst Ghotki rioters going viral on social media, people have not only called for his arrest but have also raised the question of why he enjoys impunity.
Regarding this, a local social activist, on the condition of anonymity informed Naya Daur that the recent incident of alleged blasphemy is linked to an earlier kidnapping and attempt to forcefully marry a Hindu girl.
In 2018, an 11-year-old girl Monika was abducted from Hala with an aim to forcibly convert her. The girl had been recovered and the court had ordered that the girl should be returned to her parents because she was underage.
According to the activist, the girl had been given refuge by Notan Das, the school principal who has been accused of committing blasphemy in Ghotki two days back. He added that Monika had been kidnapped a day before the riots erupted, and claimed that the blasphemy allegations against Notan Das were made so that the abduction could be covered up and Hindu community of the area could not have a chance to protest against the kidnapping.
It is being said Mian Mitho is currently being backed by powerful people and his rampage against the Hindu community is being supported by those people.
The aforementioned revelations are startling and give a new angle to this incident. Authorities must investigate Mian Mitho’s role in the incident and whether the blasphemy incident was motivated by the desire to suppress Hindu backlash in response to Monika’s kidnapping.
Naya Daur Media (NDM) is a bi-lingual progressive digital media platform aiming to inform and educate Pakistanis at home and abroad.