Hindu spiritual leader's abduction in Balochistan triggers protests

Quetta, Dec 23 (ANI): The abduction of a Hindu spiritual leader has triggered protest demonstrations in different parts of the Pakistani province of Balochistan.

82-year-old Maharaja Luckmi Chand Garji was whisked away along with his four companions late on Tuesday night on the RCD Highway near Surab area of Kalat, however, three of them were later released at a deserted place, the Daily Times reported.

"Five armed men in a vehicle were chasing us and intercepted us when they got an opportunity near Surab, about 100 kilometres from Kalat," said Sajan Das, one of the three men released by the kidnappers.

They were going to attend a marriage ceremony in Khuzdar, he said, adding that the kidnappers blindfolded them and tied their hands before dropping them near a mountain.

However, the whereabouts of Maharaja Luckmi Chand and Venod Kumar, the son of a trader, are still not known.

In protest against the incident, the Hindu community held demonstrations in Khuzdar, Quetta, Kalat, and Naushki, and also blocked the National Highway and the RCD Highway.

Addressing the protesters in front of the Khuzdar Press Club, their leaders said that the government had failed to protect the lives and properties of the people, particularly of those belonging to minorities.

Incidents of abduction had become a routine and it seemed that the highwaymen and the kidnappers had been given a free hand, they said, alleging that police and other law enforcement agencies were patronising the criminals.

The Hindu Panchayat also held a protest demonstration in front of the Quetta Press Club, demanding recovery of Maharaja Luckmi Chand. Earlier, they took out a rally from Aria Samaj Mandir and marched through Jinnah Road, Masjid Road, Shahra-e-Iqbal and Manan Chowk.

Taking notice of the incident, Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani has asked the concerned authorities to ensure safe recovery of the Hindu spiritual leader. (ANI)

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