ISLAMABAD: Members of the Hindus minority rallied late Thursday in Islamabad to protest the deaths of 11 members of a Hindu migrant family who died in India last month under mysterious circumstances.
Since then, the dead migrants’ relatives have held small rallies in Sindh but this was the first time they had taken their demonstration to the Islamabad, vowing to stage a sit-in near the Indian embassy.
The protesters accuse India’s secret service, Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) of poisoning the 11 Hindus, who were found dead at a farmhouse in Jodhpur district in Rajasthan state.The demonstrators arrived in Islamabad around midnight, chanting: “We want justice.” They briefly skirmished with officers who prevented them from reaching the embassy site.
According to local police, the recovery of a written note from a shack in Jodhpur district’s Lodta village, where the migrant family was found dead, has suggested that one of the deceased, trained as a nurse, gave sedatives and injected everyone with poison, before taking her own life, The Hindu reported.
Officials in Islamabad say New Delhi had not shared any reports of the case.
Ramesh Kumar, a top leader of the Hindu community who led Thursday’s protest, met on Wednesday with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, seeking his help in pressuring India to release the results of the initial police probe into the case. Pakistan has also asked for access to a Hindu worker who was at the Jodhpur farm at the time of the deaths, according to government officials.
In his meeting with Qureshi, Kumar said Shrimati Mukhi, the daughter of the head of the family that died, had levelled the poisoning accusations. She earlier this month told local media that India allegedly pressured the family to issue a statement denouncing Pakistan’s government. There was no official comment from India on the allegations. Last week, the Foreign Office summoned an Indian diplomat to convey concerns over the Jodhpur incident. A subsequent ministry statement said India had “failed to share any substantive details regarding the cause and circumstances of the deaths” of the Hindus and asked for a comprehensive investigation.