India issues demarche to Pakistan High Commission over targeted demolition of Hindu community houses

New Delhi [India], June 9 (ANI): India on Tuesday issued a strong demarche to Pakistani High Commission on the "systematic and targeted" demolition of houses belonging to minority Hindu community in Pakistan's Punjab province, sources said.

"Today, India issued a strong demarche to the Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi on the systematic and targeted demolition of houses belonging to minority Hindu community in Chak 52/DB, Yazman, Punjab in Pakistan," a source said.

The sources said that the members of civil society in India have expressed serious concerns and anguish at the targeted and continued persecution of religious and ethnic minorities in Pakistan.

They have also strongly condemned the incident where in-state authorities targeted the minority Hindu community despite the occupants producing valid documents of ownership and legal relief granted against demolition, the sources added.

Last week, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) had said that the local authorities in Yazman were responsible for demolishing homes of a Hindu community.

"Following an independent fact-finding mission, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has found that the local authorities in Yazman (Bahawalpur district) were responsible for demolishing the homes of a Hindu community in Chak 52/DB," the HRCP, a non-profit organisation, said in a statement.

"The demolition occurred despite the fact that the Hindu community - fearing this might come to pass after being threatened...on several occasions - had filed a case petitioning a senior civil judge of the Bahawalpur bench to issue an order forbidding any such action," the statement read.

It said that even though the restraining order was issued, "on May 20, 2020, twenty-five houses were levelled and another 10 partly demolished, leaving their occupants - including young children - without any access to shelter".

"One respondent claimed that she was dragged out of the house by her hair," the statement added.

The HRCP noted with serious concern that the Hindu community, already vulnerable as a religious minority, was targeted on grounds of faith to advance the interests of the local land mafia. (ANI)