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Life in Pak not worth it, say Sindh Hindus

Sunday, 14 April 2013 | Sweta Goswami | New Delhi

 

In search of a dignified and peaceful life, 80-odd Hindu families, like hundreds others, migrated to Delhi from Sindh province of Pakistan last month to escape persecution there.

Though, life for them, here, is seemingly better than in Pakistan-where they were being tortured, humiliated and assaulted for no reason — they are still spending sleepless nights as they fear that they may be sent back to Pakistan after their visa term expires.These 510 hapless Hindus from Pakistan are at present living in Bijwasan on the outskirts of the national Capital.

Looking at the thousands of illegal migrants from Bangladesh living in the Capital and other parts of the country, they are demanding that the Indian Government should pay attention to their plight also because India is the place to which they actually belong. “We do not want to go back to Pakistan as life is hell for minorities there. Hindu women are raped, kidnapped and forcibly converted to Islam. They do anything they want to do with us. We are seeking asylum in India because this is the place where our roots lie. If we cannot be granted citizenship, we should be allowed to stay here,” said Sitaram who has come from Qasimabad with 17 other members of his family.  

Narrating the ordeals faced by his fellow countrymen, he further said that people belonging to the minority community have to pay money every month. “They loot our shops, fields and houses. I was thrown out from my house in which I had lived with my family for more than 30 years,” he said.

“We are called kafirs. They force all the Hindus to convert to Islam and if we refuse they threaten to kill us. The Islamists have shot several people because they resisted. They abduct young girls at night and get them married to Muslims. By morning they return as Muslims. We were scared, humiliated and fed up of their inhuman behaviour. So, we came to India in search of a respectful life,” said 70-year-old Maharaj Baisakhi.

He added that life for minorities has never been easy in Pakistan, but the scenario worsened after the Babri Masjid was demolished in 1992 in India. The incident enraged Muslims there and they went on a rampage. They demolished Hindu temples in vengeance and started torturing the Hindus.

Expressing fear that the Indian Government may not extend their visas, another Hindu migrant from Sindh, Lakshmi (55) said their stay in India may be illegal but they have no option but to live here.

“There is nothing left for us in Pakistan. Their society has no tolerance for minorities. Hindus, Christians and Sikhs are forced to live in inhuman conditions,” she said, adding that women and girls are particularly vulnerable.

Recalling a horrific incident that took place recently, a weeping Lakshmi said: “It was evening time and four Muslim men barged into my friend and neighbour’s house as they wanted to kidnap her 12-year-old daughter. When the girl’s mother and I resisted, they put a gun to our heads and threatened to kill us if we did not let go of the child. Then they did what they had to do. We were helpless.”

Shankar Lal, who has started working as a labourer at a nearby construction site in Bijwasan, said he would rather commit suicide than go back to “hell”.“I was a farmer in Sindh. I used to have a fairly good produce, but still we used to live in poverty. The Muslims used to steal the vegetables and fruits from my farm. Here, I will work as hard as I can, but at least no one will snatch my hard earned money from me,” said with tears flowing down his weather-beaten face.

 
 
 

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