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A human rights defender booked on murder charges: Send your letters

24 May

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that a human rights defender, who belongs to the Kohli group, a scheduled caste Hindu, was booked in a murder case whereas on the day of murder of a land grabber he was 500 kilometers away. He was attending a daylong conference of the civil society on the issue of Eighteenth amendment in the constitution and provincial autonomy. In 2010 he was abducted by the land grabbers who were also involved allegedly in the rape of a 17 years old Dalit girl. He was severely beaten during his captivity and was intimidated for raising his voice for the rights of the Dalits who have been bonded labourers for decades.

The police and a provincial minister are providing protection to the perpetrators. The provincial minister is allegedly involved in grabbing the land where the precious China Clay was found.

CASE NARRATIVE:

On May 20, 6:00 am, a group of land grabbers attacked a village of Vishnoo Kolhi, Nagar Parker sub-district, Sindh province and opened firing directly at the villagers to vacate their houses, seriously injuring four persons; Mr. Eshwar, Mr. Mohan, Mr. Hari, and Mr. Kombho who received bullet wounds. After heavy firing the villagers came out to defend the women and children and captured a few accused from whom they confiscated their guns which they later handed over to the police. The attackers names are Salah Shoro, Luqman Shoro, Mataro Shoro, Shafique Shoro, Rahib Shoro, Ranjho Shoro, Qadir Shoro Akbar Shoro, came to rescue his partners and in such circumstance one attacker, Saleh Shoro, was injured. He was taken away by the attackers and they escaped. He later died.

Instead of filing the cases of attacking villagers with deadly weapons and injuring villagers, police filed the case of murder against those persons who were residing 500 kilometers away from the place of the incident. Mr. Veerji Kolhi was among the persons who were booked on murder charges. Veerji is a prominent human rights defender and works with ASHAA and Mehargarh organizations, particularly on the issue of bonded labour. He has obtained the release of many women, children and men from the feudal lords of the district where there is a sizeable number from Kolhi community reside.

The other persons who were booked on charges of murder are Mr. Naboo Kohli, father of a 17 year old Dalit, who was raped by four persons who were released on bail before arrest by the session court, Mithi, though being a heinous case the bail before arrest cannot be granted without a proper investigation. Please see the urgent appeal Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-027-2010. Mr. Lakhan Kohli, the eye witness of the rape of the girl, Mr. Damro Kolhi, the uncle of Veerji, were also booked in the murder case.

Veerji was then abducted by the land grabbers in August 2010 and kept for several days and was severely tortured. He was told by the abductors not to pursue the case of rape of 17 years old Kastoori, a Dalit girl, and disassociate himself from the movement against the land grabbing. In the case of a young Hindu abducted from the police station by a religious mob (Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-097-2011) Veerji was among the activists who provided shelter to him when young Hindu ran away from the custody of abductor after nine months of captivity by the Muslim leaders of the Madina Masjid, Mirpurkhas, Sindh. Veerji used to be a bonded labourer, indentured with his family to a landlord, who design debts that can never be repaid and hold people hostage for labour in lieu of payment. He escaped as a teenager and found the resources to free his family. Since then, he has worked tirelessly for the cause of bonded labourers. From Nagarparkar, one of the poorest and most deprived districts of Pakistan in Thar Desert, he is a low caste Hindu, but from the towering caste of those who gives hope.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

The land of nearby Nagarparkar area has been the property of Kolhi community for centuries. Recently some tribes started digging the soil of Kolhi community to transport precious clay to urban areas. The local Kolhi community observed several processions and demonstrations for this injustice. But the Shoro and Khoso tribe people supported by influential started threating Kolhis and started occupying lands of Kolhis. Same threats received to Vishnoo Kolhi of Village Bandhi some 12 kilometers away from Nagarparkar to leave the village otherwise they will kill him and all the villagers. Durga Mata temple is one of the two temples where the Hindus always go and pay their respects on this day, making it a significant part of their religion. According to him, around 200,000 pilgrims flock to the temple for the festival. Although the digging stopped while the mela continued, the pilgrims were dismayed at the project.

SUGGESTED ACTION:
Please write the letters to the authorities about the false case of murder against a human rights defender and the father and other relatives of a rape victim who were residing 500 kilometers far from the incident of murder. Please urge the authorities to with draw the case of murder against them and take stern action against the local police who acted on the powerful land grabbers for filing the false cases against the innocent persons. Please also urge them initiate the inquiry into the land grabbing of Hindu Dalit population who are residing there since centuries.

The AHRC writes a separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders calling for her intervention into this matter.

To support this appeal, please click here:

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear ___________,

PAKISTAN: A human rights defender was booked on murder charges for raising the cases of scheduled caste Hindus

Name of victims:
1.Mr. Veerji Kolhi,
Coordinator Mehergarh, house number, 11/150 Street 1 Abdullah City Qasimabad,
Hyderabad, Sindh
2. Mr. Naboo Kohli
3. Mr. Lakhan Kohli
4. Damro Kolhi,
All are the resident of Abdullah City Qasimabad, Hyderabad, Sindh
5. Mr. Eshwar,
6. Mr. Mohan,
7. Mr. Hari,
8. Mr. Kombho
All are resident of Vishnoo Kolhi goth, Nagar Parker sub-district, Sindh province,

Names of alleged perpetrators:
1.Saleh Shoro,
2. Luqman Shoro,
3. Mataro Shoro,
4. Shafique Shoro,
5. Rahib Shoro,
6. Ranjho Shoro,
7. Qadir Shoro
8. Akbar Shoro
All are resident of Nagarparker, district Tharparker, Sindh province
Date of incident: May 20, 2010
Place of incident: Vishnoo Kolhi goth, Nagar Parker sub-district, Sindh province

I am writing to voice my deep concern regarding the registration of a false case of murder against a human rights defender and other persons who are from the Hindu scheduled cast of Dalit.

According to my information that on May 20, 6:00 am, a group of land grabbers attacked a village of Vishnoo Kolhi, Nagar Parker sub-district, Sindh province and opened firing directly at the villagers to vacate to the houses, seriously injuring four persons; Mr. Eshwar, Mr. Mohan, Mr. Hari, and Mr. Kombho who received bullet wounds. After heavy firing the villagers came out to defend the women and children and captured a few accused and took away two guns which they later handed over to the police. The attackers names are Salah Shoro, Luqman Shoro, Mataro Shoro, Shafique Shoro, Rahib Shoro, Ranjho Shoro, Qadir Shoro Akbar Shoro, came to rescue his partners and in such circumstance one attacker, Saleh Shoro, was injured and was taken away by the attackers and they escaped but died later.

It is shocking for me that instead of filing the cases of attacking villagers with deadly weapons and injuring villagers, police filed the case of murder against those persons who were residing 500 kilometers away from the place of incident. Mr. Veerji Kolhi was among the persons who were booked on Murder charges. Veerji is a prominent human rights defender and work with ASHAA and Mehargarh organizations and working on the issue of bonded labour and got released many women, children and men from the feudal lords of the district where the a sizeable number from Kolhi community reside.

I am appalled to know that the other persons who were booked on charges of murder are Mr. Naboo Kohli, father of 17 years old Dalit, who was raped by four persons who were released on bail before arrest by session court, Mithi, though being a heinous case the bail before arrest cannot be granted without a proper investigation. Please see the urgent appeal Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-027-2010. Mr. Lakhan Kohli, the eye witness of the rape of the girl, Mr. Damro Kolhi, the uncle of Veerji, were also booked in the murder case.

I am further informed that Veerji was then abducted by the land grabbers in August 2010 and kept for several days and was severely tortured. He was told by the abductors not to pursue the case of rape of 17 years old Kastoori, a Dalit girl, and disassociate himself from the movement against the land grabbing. In the case of a young Hindu abducted from the police station by a religious mob (Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-097-2011) Veerji was among the activists who provided shelter to him when young Hindu ran away from the custody of abductor after nine months of captivity by the Muslim leaders of the Madina Masjid, Mirpurkhas, Sindh. Veerji used to be a bonded labourer, indentured with his family to a landlord, who design debts that can never be repaid and hold people hostage for labour in lieu of payment. He escaped as a teenager and found the resources to free his family. Since then, he has worked tirelessly for the cause of bonded labourers. From Nagarparkar, one of the poorest and most deprived districts of Pakistan in Thar Desert, he is a low caste Hindu, but from the towering caste of those who gives hope.

I urge you to take the stern action against the Nagarparker police, Tharparker police station, Sindh province, for acting on behalf of the land grabbers and filing false case of murder against a human rights defenders and others who are already victim of the powerful people of the area in the case of a rape of a Dalit girl in 2010.

Please also withdraw the false case of murder and initiate inquiry in to the case of land grabbing in the Nagarparker where the scheduled caste Hindus are living since centuries and they are illegally displaced by force for excavating the precious China clay.

I therefore, urge you to take immediate and proper steps against the perpetrators.

Yours sincerely,

—————-
PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

1. Mr. Asif Ali Zardari
President of Pakistan
President’s Secretariat
Islamabad
PAKISTAN
Tel: +92 51 9204801/9214171
Fax: +92 51 9207458
Email: publicmail@president.gov.pk

2. Mr. Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani
Prime Minister of Pakistan
Prime Minister House
Islamabad
PAKISTAN
Fax: + 92 51 9221596
E-mail: secretary@cabinet.gov.pk

3. Syed Qaim Ali Shah
Chief Minister
Karachi, Sindh Province
PAKISTAN
Fax: +92 21 920 2000
E-mail: pppsindh@yahoo.com

4. Federal Minister for Human Rights
Ministry of Human Rights
Old US Aid building
Ata Turk Avenue
G-5, Islamabad
PAKISTAN
Fax: +9251-9204108
Email: sarfaraz_yousuf@yahoo.com

5. Mr. Muhammad Ayaz Soomro
Minister for Law, Parliamantry Affairs & Criminal Prosecution Service
Sindh Assembly Building,
Court road, Karachi, Sindh province
PAKISTAN
Fax: +92 21 9211982
E-mail: secy.law@sindh.gov.pk

6. Chief Justice of Sindh High Court
High Court Building
Saddar, Karachi
Sindh Province
PAKISTAN
Fax: +92 21 9213220
E-mail: info@sindhhighcourt.gov.pk

7. Ms. Nadia Gabol
Minister for Human Rights
Government of Sindh,
Pakistan secretariat, Barrack 92,
Karachi, Sindh Province
PAKISTAN
Fax: +92 21 9207044
Tel: +92 21 9207043
E-mail: lukshmil@yahoo.com

8. Dr. Faqir Hussain
Registrar
Supreme Court of Pakistan
Constitution Avenue, Islamabad
PAKISTAN
Fax: + 92 51 9213452
E-mail: mail@supremecourt.gov.pk

9. Inspector General of Police
Police Head office, I. I. Chundrigar road
Karachi, Sindh Province
PAKISTAN
Fax: +92 21 9212051
E-mail: ppo.sindh@sindhpolice.gov.pk

Thank you.

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1 Comment

Posted by on May 24, 2011 in Hindus, Petitions

 

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One response to “A human rights defender booked on murder charges: Send your letters

  1. veerji kolhi

    May 30, 2011 at 7:30

    سماجي اڳواڻ ويرجي ڪولهي مٿان ننگرپارڪر ٿاڻي تي ڪيس داخل ٿيڻ خلاف مختلف سماجي تنظيمن پاران سٽي گيٽ هوٽل کان حيدرآباد پريس ڪلب تائين ريلي ڪڍي احتجاجي مظاهرو ڪيو ويو. مظاهرو ڪندڙ پوليس ۽ بااثر ماڻهن خلاف نعريبازي ڪري رهيا هئا. ان موقعي تي سماجي اڳواڻن پنهل ساريو، ذوالفقار شاهه، جبار ڀٽي، عباس کوسو، ايم پرڪاش، ڊاڪٽر اشوٿاما، ڪاشف بجير، ڀڳوانداس، پهلاج ڪولهي، ويرسي ڪولهي، مڪيش ميگهواڙ ۽ ٻين چيو ته ويرجي ڪولهي انسان حقن جي حاصلات لاءِ وڏي جاکوڙ ڪئي آهي. هنن چيوته گذريل سال لڄالٽ جو شڪار ٿيل ننگرپارڪر جي نياڻي ڪستوري ڪولهڻ کي انصاف ڏيارڻ لاءِ ويرجي ڪولهي تمام وڏي جدوجهد ڪئي ۽ ننگرپارڪر جي عوام سان ٿيندڙ ظلمن خلاف مسلسل جدوجهد ڪندو رهيو آهي، اها ڳالهه مقامي وڏيرن کي نٿي وڻي، تنهن ڪري ويرجي ڪولهي خلاف قتل جو ڪيس داخل ڪرايو ويو آهي. هنن اهڙي عمل جي مذمت ڪندي مطالبو ڪيو ته معاملي جو نوٽيس وٺي سماجي اڳواڻ مٿان داخل ٿيل ڪيس فوري طور تي ختم ڪيو وڃي، ٻي صورت ۾ سخت احتجاجي تحريڪ شروع ڪئي ويندي

     

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