Some Pakistanis are demanding ‘justice for Pooja’ after the 18-year-old Hindu woman from Sindh was shot dead and her body thrown on the streets while she resisted her killer. Pakistanis are blaming authorities, politicians and the Imran Khan government for the continued exploitation of minority communities in Pakistan, especially the Hindus.
News reports from Pakistan claimed that Pooja’s killer Wahid Bux Lashkari wanted to convert her to Islam before marrying her. Lashkari forcefully entered Pooja’s house and tried to abduct her but she refused. After which an enraged Lashkari killed her.
A Pakistani citizen tweeted: “March 21, 2022, another #Hindu woman falls victim 2 jihadi violence in Rohri in Sindh in #Pakistan. In an attempt 2 abduct Pooja Oadh (18) was shot dead by 5 Muslim men. She was alone in her house, No action (was) taken by (the) police. They removed her dead body while #Hindus protested.”
Police say the accused has been arrested but the victim’s family wants strict punishment for the killer.
A Twitter user named Sorath Sindhu, demanding justice for Pooja, asked, “Is FIR the mere justice we want for the murder of an innocent girl & family?”
Sharing a protest video against the killing of Pooja Kumari, Pakistani journalist Veengas questioned the politicians. “I just wonder how many politicians in Pakistan have condemned the brutal killing of #PoojaKumari or any Human Rights org.”
Protesting Hindus in Rohri, Sukkur, where Pooja was killed, are asking for justice. In one such video, protestors can be seen chanting “Insaaf do, dahshatgardi band Karo”.
A Twitter user blamed PM Imran Khan for the deplorable state of minorities in the country. Olivia Ozukum wrote: “Hindu girl killed in Pakistan after failed abduction attempt. total loss of law and order in failed state Pakistan. Imran Khan failed to face India directly and now even affects minorities.”
Another user wrote, “Due to such matters the name of our country is getting worse at the global level.”
A user by the name Trishu, however, claimed the incident wasn’t about minority exploitation.
The Sindh incident adds to a long list of atrocities against minorities, especially Hindus, in Pakistan. According to European Parliament, “the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan’s 2019 Report states that on average, more than 1 000 forced conversions take place every year.”
According to a 2020 Dawn report, “data from 2013 to 2020 show that the crime took place in all provinces and in all minority communities”. “Data on 162 cases of conversion of minor girls from Punjab and Sindh showed that “at least 46 per cent of the ‘converted’ females were below the age of 18, while the age of 37 per cent was not mentioned. Only 16 per cent of females were more than 18 years.”
In 2014, an eight-year-old Hindu girl was raped and killed in Pakistan’s Khanpur Tehsil. In 2017, a 14-year-old Hindu girl was abducted and forcibly converted to Islam.
While most media houses in Pakistan haven’t given much coverage to the killing, some YouTube channels did run commentaries.