Pakistan: Hindu Students Playing Holi In University Of Karachi Attacked By Radical Islamic Group

This is the second attack on Hindu students playing Holi in Pakistan in two days. Earlier on Monday, 15 students were injured at the Punjab University campus.

A protest for Hindus rights

In second such incident in two days, Hindu students playing Holi were attacked by a radical Islamic group in Pakistan's Karachi on Tuesday. 

At least 15 students from the minority Hindu community playing Holi in University of Karachi were injured when they were attacked by radicals.

Pakistan is a Muslim-majority country and Hindus are a minority amounting to around 1.6 per cent of the population. Pakistan has a poor track record with religious minorities as harassment and targeted crimes are rampant, ranging from attacks on temples and abduction and forced conversion of Hindu girls and women. 

A University of Karachi official confirmed there had been an incident in the Sindhi department where Hindus and other students were celebrating Holi and throwing colours at each other when some students attacked and injured them.

"We are looking into the incident which is totally against our policies," he said.

An unnamed Hindu girl student, wearing a mask along with other students, later released a video on Twitter outlining the entire incident.

She said, "The Islaami Jamiat Tulba (IJT) activists came and attacked students celebrating Holi in the hall. They beat some of us...They also harassed female students and we had to leave the place. We had assembled to celebrate the Holi festival. I want the government and varsity to take action against those responsible."

Earlier on Monday, 15 students were injured at the Punjab University campus when IJT activists allegedly stopped them from celebrating Holi. The incident took place at the Law College of Punjab University on Monday when around 30 Hindu students gathered to celebrate Holi.

When contacted by PTI, IJT (Punjab University) Spokesperson Ibrahim Shahid denied the involvement of its students in the incident.

Human rights organisations have flagged issues faced by Hindus in Pakistan. Amnesty International in 2020 noted that attacks on Hindu temples and false blasphemy cases had increased in recent years.

The Amnesty said, "In recent years, they have faced increasing marginalization, with individuals facing false accusations of 'blasphemy' – a crime that carries a mandatory death penalty in Pakistan – attacks on temples and shops, and the horrific abduction, forced conversion and forced marriage of hundreds of young Hindu women. In 2019, in two separate incidents, mobs attacked Hindu properties and places of worship in the southern Sindh province after allegations of 'blasphemy' were made against a Hindu school principal and a Hindu veterinarian."

Upon Partition of India in 1947, Pakistan became an Islamic country whereas India became a secular country. While non-Muslims migrated to India in large numbers, several families stayed or could not leave present-day Pakistan. Most Hindus today live in the Sindh province.

The Associated Press in 2020 reported that around 1,000 girls are forcibly converted to Islam every year. It noted that most of the converted girls are impoverished Hindus from Sindh province.

(With PTI inputs)