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Pakistan: Two Hindus injured over temple land dispute

February 04, 2012 19:55 IST

Two Hindus were injured when traders opened fire at them, following a dispute over the land of a temple in Pakistan's southern Sindh province, according to a media report on Saturday.

The dispute began after two traders encroached on the land of Aakharo Temple at Umerkot in Sindh while expanding their shop. The temple is located in the middle of Umerkot town and is believed to be 100 years old. It is spread over three acres and has 50 shops along its boundary walls.

Two traders, Zulfiqar Punjabi and his brother Hafeez Punjabi, began construction to expand their rented shop without seeking permission from the temple's administration, The Express Tribune reported.

Seth Jhaman, a member of the Hindu community, said, "They started the construction work last week but when we complained, the police stopped them."

Elders of the Muslim and Hindu communities mediated and contacted parliamentarian Nawab Yousaf Talpur for help.

When the traders resumed the construction, the Hindus went to talk to them on Friday. The traders then opened fire, injuring Rano, 23, and Mool Chan, 30. The two men were taken to a hospital in Hyderabad city in a serious condition.

The town of Umerkot shut down to protest the shooting and avoid possible riots. Police said they had arrested a few men linked to the traders. Superintendent of Police Munir
Khuhro said a picket had been set up at the temple.

Parliamentarians Yousaf Talpur, Mahesh Malani and Kishan Chand Parwani have contacted the Hindu community and assured them of help. Seth Jhaman said some armed men were still inside the temple's property.

Sindh province has a sizeable Hindu population.

Rezaul H Laskar In Islamabad
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