Four Hindu doctors were gunned down today in Pakistan's southern Sindh province, sparking fears and panic among the minority community.
The doctors were gunned down in their clinic in Chak town close to Shikarpur.
Dr Ramesh Kumar, a former member of provincial assembly and chief patron of Pakistan Hindu Council, confirmed that Dr Ashok, Dr Naresh, Dr Ajeet and Dr Satia Paul were killed by armed assailants while working in their clinic.
"This is not the first time such an incident has taken place where members of our community have been targeted. What is of concern is that the law enforcement agencies tend to support the criminals involved in such acts," Dr Kumar told PTI.
"There is a strong population of around 50,000 Hindus in Chak so for such an incident to happen is bad and the government must take notice of it and provide protection to the minorities," Kumar demanded.
Police said they had arrested two of the people involved in the killings and were searching for the other culprits.
A police official confirmed that the killings could have been the result of a dispute between some Hindus and the local Bhaya Baradari that too place two weeks back over a Hindu girl.
Kumar said minorities were well protected and secure when military strongman Pervez Musharraf was the president but now they had become prey to open terrorism and crime.
Condemning the murders, the Pakistan Hindu Council appealed to President Asif Zardari, the Chief Justice of Pakistan and the Army chief to take note of the targeting of Hindus in parts of Sindh.
President Zardari took "serious note" of the attack and directed authorities to immediately arrest those responsible and bring them to justice.
Zardari had sought an immediate report on the incident, presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar said in Islamabad.
Zardari instructed Ramesh Lal, a Hindu parliamentarian from Sindh, to go to the village and convey his condolences to the bereaved families.
The President said it was the "moral and legal responsibility of the government to protect members of the minority community against vandalism and atrocities".
Babar quoted Zardari as saying that the "law would take its course and the culprits will not go unpunished".