Hindu Community of Haroonabad being left Homeless upon the Notice issued by the Government of Punjab

Southern Punjab: The Punjab government has issued notices to dozens of Hindu families living in Haroonabad, a teshil of Bahawalnagar district, to vacate their homes until June 28.  Society of Hindu Balmiki Mandar (SHBM) president (Haroonabad) Harbans Lal Sultani said that the Hindu families had been living in the area for the last 30 years after the Bahawalnagar commissioner allowed them to construct home at the government’s land called ‘Jurnaili Murabba’ in 1987.

“In 1987, the then Bahawalnagar’s commissioner allowed us in writing to settle on the land on an application moved by 69 Hindu families who were employed the local government on contract basis.”  He added, “The rest of the paper work for allotment of five marlas to each Hindu family was completed in the tenure of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in 1995 when a ‘misl’ (revenue record of land and property) was made in favour of the Hindu families.”

Sultani said that the members of Hindu community built their houses after allotment of land located in Chak number 72-4/R.  “However, now the Haroonabad assistant commissioner have issued notices to all Hindu families to vacate their homes until June 28.”  He said that the Hindu community had tried to approach the Member National Assembly (MNA) Ejaul Haq and Member Provincial Assembly (MPA) – both from Pakistan Muslim League-Ziaul Haque (PML-Z) to inform them about their grievances but to no avail.

He went on to say that some influential people in the area, who wanted to build posh colonies near to the houses of Hindu families, were already in touch with the local lawmakers.  He demanded the federal government and Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif to instruct authorities concerned not to get the land vacated by the Hindu families.

Sultani has said that he had brought the matter into the notice of the Hindu Sudhar Sabha, Minority Rights Watch (MRW) and other organisations working for the rights of minorities and expressed hope that the issue would be resolved soon.  MRW under the umbrella of Social Action Transformation of Humanity (SATH Pakistan) has deputed its lawyer Mr. Lazur Nayer Allah Rakha to defend the Hindu community against the Local Government, the case will be closely monitored by Mr. Kashif Nawab, Director SATH Pakistan.

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