SUKKUR: Members of the Hindu community, along with civil society and rights activists, held protest demonstrations in many cities and towns of Sindh on Monday over the criminal assault and murder of Sukkur’s St Mary’s High School student, Kahna, 10, son of Pritam Kumar.
The boy’s body with torture marks was found dumped at a desolate place in Babarloi town of Khairpur district on Friday.
The incident took the social media by storm and ultimately triggered protests by the Hindu community and civil society organisations in many towns of Sukkur, Khairpur, Jacobabad, Kandhkot-Kashmore, Shikarpur and Ghotki districts on Monday.
The bereaved family and other protesters held a big demonstration at Babarloi by-pass and blocked the road for several hours. A police team led by Khairpur SSP tried to persuade them to clear the road but in vain. A Rangers team also visited the venue of protest and asked people to disperse but it also failed in their attempt till late in the evening.
Mr Kumar, the slain boy’s father, told the SSP that he knew that the alleged rapists and killers, Inam Shah and Mudassir Shah, had already been arrested but they were not being treated as criminals due to their political clout. “They are enjoying all undue facilities at the behest of certain influential figures instead of being locked up and interrogated,” Mr Kumar claimed. He said he also knew that Inam Shah himself belonged to an influential family whose members were government and judicial functionaries.
In Kandhkot, a large number of Hindu community members and activists of different political parties and nationalist groups gathered outside the local press club and raised slogans against killers and the area police. They condemned that 10-year-old Kahna was subjected to criminal assault before he was throttled to death on a day when the world was observing Universal Children’s Day.
Speaking to the participants, Santosh Kumar Agarwal, Daleep Kumar Thakur, Raja Gopi Chand, Sikandar Ali Shah, Sajjad Brohi and others said that cases of child abuse had registered an increase in the country. They urged the judiciary to sentence culprits of criminal assault and murder of children to death. They demanded instant justice to the family of Kahna in order to bring an immediate end to such incidents.
“We will extend our protest drive to other parts of Sindh if Kahna’s killers were not taken to task,” said Ghayal Sindhi and Nazir Soomro, adding that both the arrested men be treated as suspects of criminal assault and murder.
In Jacobabad, the local Hindi Punchayat took out a procession and held a protest demonstration at the Shaheed Allah Bux Park to demand justice to Kahna’s family.
Speaking to the media, Punchayat leaders said that certain influential figures were trying to protect the suspects and making efforts to persuade the bereaved family to agree on an out-of-court settlement.
“We will not allow this to happen,” they declared, saying that no one could be given a licence to kill or subject any person to rape.
Similar protests were held in different towns of Ghotki and Shikarpur districts to demand exemplary punishment to culprits of child abuse and murder.
Published in Dawn, November 23rd, 2021