PDSN calls for fair investigation into killing of 11 Pakistani Dalits in India

KARACHI, Aug 16 (APP):Pakistan Dalit Solidarity Network (PDSN) has called upon the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (OHCHR) to intervene urgently in the human rights violation in India in general and specifically to investigate properly the case of 11 Pakistani Scheduled Caste (Dalit) who were mysteriously murdered in Indian State Rajasthan on August 9, 2020.

In a letter to the OHCHR issued to the media here on Tuesday, the PDSN urged the UN body to exert pressure on the Indian government to launch a fair investigation producing truthful facts behind the gory incident.

The letter noted that with the lapse of two years, the Indian government had not moved for investigating the heinous murders of 11 family members, including minors and youth. “Shereemati Mukhi Bheel, daughter of deceased Bhudho Bheel, feels a complete violation of international human rights law against migrants and Dalit (scheduled caste as referred by Law in Pakistan) people of Pakistan by Indian law enforcement agencies, especially those of State of Rajasthan,” the letter reads.

“PDSN on behalf of Shereemati Mukhi Bheel, a Dalit woman in Pakistan, urge the OHCHR to take an appropriate path influencing the Indian government to bring the truths about the murders and making them public. We have already submitted a letter for just to your good office on December 16, 2002.”

The family of 17 members of the Dalit community headed by Budho Bheel left for India from a village near Shahdadpur of Sindh province where a majority of Dalits lived in 2015 via the newly opened border from Sindh (Khokhrapar-Monabao) International Border and temporarily settled in Village Chetan Bheel – Basti Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India and moved to a small village Lodta of Dechu Police Station area in Jodhpur district, Rajasthan.

The visa of the 17 family members, who intended to settle in India, expired in 2016 whereas their passports were confiscated by the local authorities.

The Dechu police had declared about the incident that happened at night that “they all have committed suicide jointly by consuming some chemical poison in the night.” In addition, the police and concerned administration concluded that the family was in dire poverty which forced them to end their lives. Contrary to the Dechu police claims, the two daughters of Budho Bheel named Laxmi and Devi were trained nurses and had been earning a handsome living.

All the belongings – personal and otherwise of the deceased members were confiscated by the Indian government to make sure that no independent and unbiased probe into the extrajudicial killings of 11 Pakistani Dalits could be made. “This unlawful massacres requires a fair investigation to bring forth the truth,” PDSN noted.

The PDSN argued that in Pakistan and elsewhere, Dalits do not cremate their dead instead they bury them. In contrast, “all 11 bodies were cremated including the children, which is what we believe is unethical and immoral.”

“We register the protest under article 19 of UNHRC, which welcomes as it underscores the violation of human rights must be protected and calls for further guidance from UN on this topic,” PDSN letter concludes.