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October 9, 2019

Mian Mithu claims innocence in Ghotki violence case

Karachi

October 9, 2019

After the Hindu community and civil society organisations raised a hue and cry over last month’s mob violence in Ghotki, spiritual leader Mian Abdul Haq, commonly known as Mian Mithu, who has also long been accused of converting Hindu girls to Islam, was forced to travel from one corner of the province to the other (Karachi) to try to clear his name.

“I have nothing to do with the Ghotki violence. In fact, my sons and nephews tried to control the mob, which was charged over an incident of blasphemy committed by a Hindu school principal,” Mithu, who is also a former parliamentarian, told the media at the Karachi Press Club on Tuesday.

A mob took to the streets in Ghotki on September 15 and vandalised the Sacho Satram Das temple and several stores after rumours of a local Hindu school principal making blasphemous remarks. “Some so-called Sindhi nationalists and civil society organisations have been trying to defame me by linking my family with the Ghotki violence,” Mithu, the Pir of Bharchundi Sharif, claimed.

Mian Aslam, Mithu’s son, said that on the request of the law enforcement agencies, he and his family went from Daharki to Ghotki and played a key role in calming down the charged mob.

Replying to the allegation of forcibly converting Hindu girls to Islam, Mithu said the claims were false and baseless. “For decades, non-Muslims from various parts of Sindh and Balochistan have been coming to my Dargah to embrace Islam. How can we stop them or turn them away?”

He suggested that a group comprising civil society members from both Hindu and Muslim communities, media persons and parliamentarians should visit Ghotki and meet people who have been converted to Islam.

Mithu also criticised Maulana Fazlur Rehman for announcing his October 27 Islamabad lockdown, saying that Rehman’s party should avoid using the “Islam card” in politics and bringing madrasa students to their sit-ins.

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