IHC issues notices to Centre, FO over murder of 11 Pakistani Hindus in India

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday issued notices to the federal government and the Foreign Office on the murder of 11 members of a migrant Hindu family in the Indian city of Jodhpur in the state of Rajasthan.

The Sindh-based family had migrated to India last month and only one member of the family now remains. The bodies were found in “mysterious” circumstances in a village field.

The notices were issued on a petition moved by the IHC Bar Association Tuesday, seeking a court order directing the government to approach the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over the incident.

“The constitution gives equal rights to minorities. 11 Hindu citizens of Pakistan were murdered in India over refusing to spy on the country,” the petition had observed. “The Indian High Commission in Islamabad had issued visas to the victims. Indian diplomatic mission working against diplomatic norms.”

Following a brief hearing, the bench issued notices to the respondents and adjourned the hearing for two weeks.

For the first time in the history of Pakistan, the members of the minority Hindu community took the Islamabad late Thursday night, demanding that a probe be opened on the incident.

“We want justice for these eleven Pakistani Hindus who were killed in Jodhpur,” Ramesh Kumar, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MP and patron-in-chief of Pakistan Hindu Council (PHC), had told reporters.

The Foreign Office (FO) had on Sept 14 summoned an Indian diplomat and conveyed its “serious concern” over the matter.

The diplomat was told that the daughter of the deceased head of the family, Shrimati Mukhi, had made “highly concerning statements, implicating the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) in the murder of her father, mother and other family members, allegedly after the agency failed to convince them to spy on Pakistan and issue anti-Pakistan statements”.

However, a subsequent Foreign Office statement regretted that despite Islamabad’s repeated calls, the Indian government has still not released the necessary information on the incident.

“I wish to reiterate that the Jodhpur incident is a matter of grave concern for the government and the people of Pakistan, particularly the Pakistani Hindu community,” Foreign Office spokesman Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri had said last week.

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